Samples from each batch of meat processed through South Shore Meats is now being tested daily before being shipped out — and none has turned up E. coli bacteria, the company’s owner said.
Samples from each batch of meat processed through South Shore Meats are now being tested daily before being shipped out — and none has turned up E. coli bacteria, the company’s owner said.
“Everything is testing clean,” Carl Crocetti, the owner, said Monday.
The testing comes after South Shore Meats announced a voluntary recall of beef and beef products last week after more than 20 Rhode Island students and chaperones were sickened at a popular Plymouth camp. A match between leftover hamburger meat at Camp Bournedale and the Brockton plant prompted the recall.
Crocetti said the problem stemmed from the source of the meat — not his plant — and how the meat was cooked. He said earlier that he buys meat from 12 to 14 suppliers from around the country.
“It wasn’t my fault. I didn’t do anything wrong,” he said. “It is not a plant problem.”
Crocetti said he was already testing meat batches monthly when the Plymouth cases surfaced. He said the USDA required quarterly testing. “We were doing more than that,” he said.
Crocetti said this is the first time the plant has ever had a problem. “I’ve never had a positive (testing result) before,” he said. “I take this very seriously. This is my livelihood.”
Crocetti is the third generation to run the family business. South Shore Meats was opened in Brockton in 1990 by C. Crocetti and Sons, an Italian sausage business that started in East Boston in 1917.
All the meat recalled had been sold to operators, such as the Plymouth camp, and none was sold retail, Crocetti said.
“It was all sold to operators who should know how to properly prepare food,” he said.
Crocetti said E. coli was likely already in the meat when it was brought to the plant for processing.
He said those shipping the meat to processors such as his are supposed to be checking for E. coli.
That is why, he said, it is important for food handlers to cook meat properly and not leave it out.
Officials at the Brockton Health Department could not be reached for comment Monday on what role, if any, city health agents play in monitoring meat plants.
E. coli has been detected in a number of foods throughout the country, prompting recalls. It has been found in cookie dough, meats, spinach, water and other food products.
According to the Centers for Disease Control, Escherichia coli — or E. coli — are a large and diverse group of bacteria.
Some types of E. coli live in the guts of animals such as cattle, and the major source for human illnesses is cattle.
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