A New Jersey firm, Famous Brand Ltd., has recalled packages of its cooked roast beef because of three salmonella food-poisoning outbreaks, the Agriculture Department said Thursday.
Even tighter regulations for pre-cooked beef are being considered because of the outbreaks, Assistant Secretary Carol Tucker Foreman said. The rules on cooking it were made stricter earlier this summer because of outbreaks last year.
The department said that two persons were hospitalized and 28 others became less seriously ill with salmonella poisoning July 21 after eating undercooked roast beef at a buffet dinner in Phoenix, N.Y.
County and state health officials traced the meat to the New Jersey firm, department spokesman Joseph McDavid said.
New York officials later reported illnesses in Lewis and Onondaga counties traced to sandwiches prepared in restaurants that obtained cooked beef roasts from Famous Brands, he said.
The beef was sold only in New York and northern New Jersey to caterers, delicatessens and institutions, Ms. Foreman said.
She said that the recall was initiated after the Food Quality and Safety Service confirmed that samples of the meat were contaminated with salmonella bacteria and had not been cooked according to federal regulations.
The beef was distributed in 6 to 12 pounds packages bearing establishment number 514A and sold under these names: "Cooked Roast Beef," by Famous Brand Ltd. of Passaic; "Oven Roasted Beef," by Joel Provisions Inc. of Yonkers, N.Y., and "Oven Roasted Beef," by Swift Processed Meats of Kearny, N.J. All were processed by Famous Brands.