JBS Swift Beef Co., a Greeley, Colo., establishment is voluntarily expanding its June 24 recall to include approximately 380,000 pounds of assorted beef primal products that may be contaminated withE. coliO157:H7, the U.S. Department of Agriculture's Food Safety and Inspection Service (FSIS) announced today.

Together with traceback information and laboratory data, the recall is being expanded as a result of FSIS' cooperation with the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) in an ongoing investigation into 24 illnesses in multiple states, of which at least 18 appear to be associated. This investigation prompted the company to re-examine the effectiveness of their food safety system for the April 21 production of beef primals, and they are conducting this recall out of an abundance of caution as the safety of the products produced on a portion of that day could not be assured.

The beef products were produced on April 21, 2009 and were distributed both nationally and internationally.

Source: FSIS

Cargill, Kraft partner for summer beef promotion

With consumers continuing to seek great-tasting, yet affordable meal solutions, Cargill has partnered this summer with Kraft Foods in a promotional pairing of Cargill’s ground beef products with Kraft Foods’ A.1. Steak Sauce. The collaboration gives retailers a bold, powerful one-two product punch supported by meal inspiration and menu education for consumers on how A.1. can make any burger even more flavorful.

The Cargill ground beef and Kraft Foods’ A.1. Steak Sauce promotion runs from July 6 to Aug. 23, 2009, and is being offered at more than 1,900 retail grocery locations – including SuperTarget stores – across the country.

“Cargill welcomes and fosters complementary product partnerships, and we think they bring many benefits for everyone involved, from the product manufacturers, to our grocery partners and consumers,” said Elizabeth Gutschenritter, Cargill brand manager. “Pairing our ground beef with a well-respected brand such as Kraft Foods’ A.1. Steak Sauce adds credibility with consumers and hopefully enlightens those who have used A.1. on steak but perhaps not with ground beef. We’re always interested in exploring collaborations that enhance our products and help take them to different consumer audiences.”

“Kraft Foods is excited to partner with Cargill to let consumers know that A.1. Steak Sauce tastes great beyond its traditional use on steak and adds one-of-a-kind flavor to ground beef as well,” said Christie Crouch, brand manager, Kraft Foods. “The promotion is a win-win for both Kraft Foods and Cargill, and the supporting resources give retailers useful tools for enhancing the value proposition for shoppers.”

A coupon on ground beef packages will offer $1 off A.1. Steak Sauce with purchase of the ground beef. The promotion will include four recipe cards with burger creations, each including A.1. Steak Sauce, displayed at the ground beef case: Texas-Style Burger, Hearty American Cheeseburger, Bold ‘n’ Saucy Cheeseburger, and All A.1. Burger.

The joint Cargill-Kraft Foods promotion also offers a variety of support for retailers including point-of-purchase materials that create awareness and encourage shopper interaction. These in-store materials include large and mini T-stand posters, 90-degree signs, the four recipe cards and on-pack coupons mentioned previously, as well as A.1. product displays to be located in the meat department.

Source: Cargill

Beef lovers to grill more often this summer

Nearly three out of four beef lovers (74 percent) say their family plans to grill out more this summer than in previous years, according to a recent survey conducted by IPSOS Public Affairs for the Beef Checkoff Program.

"The backyard has become the new American family room because outdoor grilling is a favorite summer pastime that brings together family and friends for fun, relaxation and delicious food," said Chef Dave Zino, executive director of the Culinary Center for the National Cattlemen's Beef Association. "From flavorful beef kabobs, steaks and burgers to farm-fresh fruits and vegetables - everything tastes better on the grill."

Despite the current economy, consumers also are not willing to sacrifice their love for beef. Nearly half (47 percent) of survey respondents said there were certain foods they simply would not give up at their backyard barbecue regardless of cost. Steak was number one in this category with half of the group saying they would not give it up. Ground beef was the second most popular food (15 percent) consumers would not give up when grilling.

"The versatility of beef makes it the perfect choice for any occasion," added Chef Zino. Beef offers a variety of cuts for every budget. Retail prices for great steaks, such as T-bone, porterhouse, top sirloin and ribeye, are lower than normal for this time of year due to an increase in supply at grocery stores. According to Cattle-Fax, wholesale prices for beef cuts from the rib and loin have declined to 2005-2006 levels. "There are so many healthful options for the grill with 29 cuts of beef that meet government guidelines for lean, so it's easy for people to go lean with their favorite protein this summer," Chef Zino noted. "Consumers' favorite steaks to grill include lean cuts, such as top sirloin, top loin (strip) and T-bone."

Sources: The Beef Checkoff, 7thSpace Interactive