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Contaminated meat found in Hot Pockets

by MEGAN ROMANCZUK Section Editor

The Rancho Feeding Corporation located in Petaluma, California has recalled 8.7 million pounds of beef because of processed and diseased meat. The recall has also affected the popular Hot Pockets made by Nestlé.

During the Nestlé press release,the company claimed they did not purchase the meat from Rancho; however, they did receive a small package that went to the building where Hot Pockets are made. That is how the meat made its way into the product.

The two products that were recalled were the Philly Steak and Cheese in the three different pack sizes, as well as the Croissant Crust Philly Steak and Cheese in the two-pack box.

Other products, including multipacks or varieties, were not affected by the diseased meat.

As of now, no one has reported any illnesses or food poisoning due to the contaminated meat.

“As a child, I would always have Hot Pockets for lunch and dinner, sometimes even breakfast if I was really craving it. I would never expect a company that’s been around for so long would run into this sort of outbreak that could affect millions of people if the meat did have harmful bacteria,” says senior Evan Kane.

However, this is not the first time a major company or food product has run into this type of crisis.

In 2006, Taco Bell served costumers contaminated lettuce, which created an E.Coli outbreak making 71 people sick. Taco Bell also had a salmonella outbreak again in 2010, which made 155 people sick in 21 states.

Salmonella is a bacteria that is usually found in raw poultry, eggs, beef, and unwashed fruits and vegetables.

Some symptoms that occur are diarrhea, fever, abdominal cramps, and headaches. The infected person will have these symptoms from four to seven days with little to no medication. However, if the bacteria gets in the bloodstream, it can cause the person to become more sick, which can often lead to death.

E.coli is bacteria that lives in your intestines and is usually harmless. The only symptom is diarrhea, depending on how severely the bacteria infects your body.

The most severe type can cause bloody diarrhea, kidney failure and death. This usually only appears in children or adults with weak immune systems.

A Jack in the Box fast-food joint caused an E.coli outbreak as well in 1993, being the cause of four children’s death and 178 other people getting sick.

“Fast-food places should already know that the food quality is fattening and bad for you as is, but the fact the workers did not check for any signs of spoiled food and sold it to customer is unacceptable on so many levels,” says senior Vinny Grassi.

Tyson Foods had to recall 33,840 pounds of mechanically separated chicken in January 2014. The chicken contained salmonella, which affected seven customers, as well as two others who needed hospitalization.

Before a product is sold to the general public, especially meat, the United States Department of Agriculture has to decide if the product meets the correct regulations.

If a company is using a slaughterhouse to receive meat, the USDA would have to inspect the place to check for a sanitary environment.

The USDA also examines the animals before they get slaughtered to check for any diseases that could harm a human.

After the product has passed the examination step, the company needs to put a label showing it has been approved by the USDA, as well as having information such as net weight, price and the company name.

Those who have purchased a recalled product should call the company’s consumer services for a full refund, or return the infected product to the store.

Did you ever have a close call with a product that was recalled or recalled a few days after purchasing the product?

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