American Fresh Foods in Fort Worth TX is urging Texas consumers not to purchase its ground beef under questionable circumstances. This precaution comes after the company reported, early the morning of December 27, the theft of one of its refrigerated trucks containing 14,800 pounds of ground beef products.
According to American Fresh Foods' officials, the stolen meat had been placed in a refrigerated truck and held on the plant's property. The product, a portion of which had been segregated as possibly affected with E coli O157:H7, was being removed from fresh commercial sale.
American Fresh Foods is working with United States Department of Agriculture (USDA) officials and local and state law enforcement authorities to issue a public health alert and to recover the stolen product and vehicle.
The company asks that anyone who may have seen or knows the location of the tractor trailer immediately contact the Fort Worth Police Department's Crime Stoppers hotline at 817-469-8477.
The tractor trailer, which bears an “Xtra Lease” logo on both side panels toward the rear of the trailer, is a 2000 Great Dane model with the trailer number Q61232. The truck has a Maine license plate number 1925071.
If a consumer has purchased American Fresh Foods' ground beef products under questionable circumstances, such as in a parking lot or along the side of the road, American Fresh Foods chief food safety and quality assurance officer Tim Biela suggests, “Do not consume the product; but retain the packaging label, discard the product, and immediately report the incident to the American Fresh Foods consumer hotline number at 800-724-1136.
“Anyone with information leading to the arrest and conviction of the culprits and the recovery of the stolen vehicle will be appropriately rewarded,” says Biela.