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California Ground Beef Recall Hits Restaurants

California Ground Beef Recall Hits Restaurants

By Angela Monroe. CREATED Oct 12, 2011

A massive recall of ground beef products underway right here in California is affecting restaurants.
Los Angeles based Commercial Meat Company is recalling more than 375,000 pounds of ground beef products they sent to restaurants over fears it may be contaminated with E. coli.

There's a batch of possibly bad beef out there.  We know it was sent to California and Nevada restaurants.  But we were not told which ones.
La Quinta resident Gary Williams said, "I think that kind of information should be given to us so we know where to go and where not to go, I'm sure it hurts the restaurants, but what's more important, our health or the restaurants?"

The U.S. Department of Agriculture calls the possible E.coli contamination a class 1 recall-- a high health risk with a possible outcome of death.
So we wanted to find out what restaurants got these ground beef products.
Before 4 Tuesday afternoon we started with calling the company, Commercial Meat cCmpany out of L.A.
Their answering machine said, "Hi you've reached Commercial Meat Company, we're closed for the evening."
Next we called the US Meat and Poultry hotline.  Their recording said, "Hotline staff is available to answer your food safety questions Monday through Friday from 10am to 4pm Eastern time."
We also called the Alameda, California office, as well as the media contact listed on the press release.
But there was no answer.
The U-S Department of Agriculture said they also have a 24-hour representative.
Meet Karen-- an automated response system.
But she gave us no results for our question.
The live chat ended at 4 eastern time.
And to submit a question we'd have a wait up to seven business days for a reply.

So we asked folks headed into dinner if the recall was going to stop them from eating out.
"We're going in for burgers and hopefully I will ask for it well done."
Wayne Hammil is visiting from canada... Where he says they don't get a lot of recalls.
"The only beef recalls we get in Canada is the stuff coming from the U-S, otherwise its perfect," said Hammil.

Some diners said it seems like there is always some type of recall going-on.
"It keeps coming up, the ones with the cantaloupe, lettuces for a while, so there's always something to worry about," said Judy Wempe.
John Wempe said he and his wife are eating chicken tonight, but would like to know where the beef was sent.
"We would definitely be interested in where this beef is being consumed, and what the problem is."

We also called the 24-hour emergency line for the Food Safety and Inspection Office in California. But we still have not gotten a call back about what restaurants may have gotten a serving of bad beef.
No illnesses have been reported so far.
The USDA says the products were made between September 7th and October 6th.