Agriprocessors Recalls 2,700 Pounds of Frankfurters

January 30, 2007

The world’s largest kosher slaughterhouse is recalling about 2,700 pounds of potentially underprocessed frankfurters shipped to New Jersey, New York and Pennsylvania, company and federal officials said.

Agriprocessors Inc., based in Postville in northeast Iowa, is accepting returns on its 1- pound package of “Supreme Kosher, Classic Frankfurters” made with beef and chicken, and its 2-pound family packages of “Supreme Kosher, Classic Frankfurters” made with beef and chicken.

The frankfurters were produced Nov. 15 and shipped to stores in the Northeast, according to the U.S. Department of Agriculture. No illnesses from these products have been reported.

Agriprocessors officials said some of the products had already been sold at various stores but they were not sure how much had reached the public.

“We’re encouraging people to bring the products back to the store,” said Mike Thomas, an Agriprocessors spokesman.

The recall was issued as a Class I — the highest classification given to consumer recalls. A Class I is issued when a reasonable probability exists that the use of the product will cause serious, adverse health consequences or death.

Thomas said the shipment was relatively small and would likely not cause much of a financial burden. The bigger issue, he said, is maintaining the company’s reputation.

“We want to make sure our customers are well served,” he said. “Even though we don’t know for a fact that something is wrong, we wanted to … bring it back in.”

Company officials and the USDA said an Agriprocessors employee discovered the problem and the company issued a voluntary recall.

Thomas said he was not immediately sure how the employee determined that the meat may have been underprocessed.

“Apparently it passed all the normal standards,” he said.

Labels on the recalled meat bears a March 16 expiration date and the establishment number “EST 4653 A” inside the USDA inspection mark.

The company’s plant is the world’s largest glatt kosher slaughterhouse and employs about 700 people. Agriprocessors butchers cattle and chickens and ships its products nationwide under several labels.

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