COMMONWEALTH OF VIRGINIA
DEPARTMENT OF EDUCATION
P. O. BOX 2120
RICHMOND, VIRGINIA 23218-2120
SUPTS. MEMO. NO. 133
August 22, 1997

INFORMATIONAL

TO: Division Superintendents
FROM: Richard T. La Pointe
Superintendent of Public Instruction
SUBJECT: Hudson Foods Beef Product Recall

 
As most of you are probably aware, US Department of Agriculture (USDA) 
investigators have found evidence of possible hazards to public health 
from the E. Coli 0157:H7 bacterium found in certain Hudson Foods 
commercial beef products from their plant in Columbus, Nebraska.  A 
national recall has been issued for products from this plant.

I am writing to inform you of this matter and to pass along the 
information that we have to date.  Our School Nutrition staff have been 
in touch with both the USDA and the Virginia Department of Agriculture 
to determine what can be done to safeguard our public schools from 
exposure to contaminated beef products.

We have been informed that none of the USDA food commodities contains 
the contaminated beef.  However, this accounts for only a portion 
(approximately 20 percent statewide) of the beef products that schools 
use.  The remaining amounts are commercially purchased.

I strongly recommend that you notify all appropriate staff to determine 
if any Hudson beef products have been purchased for use in your schools.  
They especially should be looking for Hudson Foods brand frozen 
preformed patties with Establishment Number 13569 printed inside the 
USDA inspection seal.

Division Superintendents
August 22, 1997
Page 2


If this product is found, it should be removed from schools immediately.  
USDA has advised that such cases should be treated like any other 
unacceptable food purchased commercially.  This means that the product 
should be returned to the appropriate supplier and a reimbursement should 
be requested.  Hudson Foods is also notifying all of its customers to 
immediately stop using its products from the Nebraska Plant.

Our Virginia Department of Agriculture is working with USDA 
representatives to determine where, if at all, this product may have been 
distributed in Virginia.  As for now, we do not have any further 
information to pass along to you.  If we do get information that will 
assist you, we will distribute it to you as soon possible.

Although the information is incomplete at this time, I wanted you to be 
informed of the issue so that you can take whatever precautions are 
prudent and responsible to protect students.  For some of you, school has 
not opened so the threat to students is significantly minimized; however, 
some school divisions have begun the school year so this issue should be 
given immediate attention.

If you have any questions about this issue, the attached information 
contains a list of contacts.  Thank you for your prompt attention to this 
matter.


RTL/dt
Attachments
c:   School Food Service Directors/Contacts
     Residential Child Care Institutions
          Contacts Concerning Hudson Foods Beef Recall


For questions about the recall, you may call the toll-free USDA Meat and 
Poultry Hotline at 1-800-535-4555.

Media inquiries to the Hudson Foods Company should be directed to John 
White at 501-636-1100.

USDA news releases and media advisories are available on the Internet.  
Access to the USDA Home Page on the World Wide Web is obtained at:  
http://www.usda.gov

Questions may also be referred to the Department of Education's School 
Nutrition staff at 804-225-2074.