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One Million Pounds of Ground Beef Recalled Due to Escherichia Coli

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A California meat processor is recalling about one million pounds of frozen ground beef patties and bulk ground beef products due to possible contamination with Escherichia coli O157:H7, The United States Department of Agriculture announced Aug. 5.

Valley Meat Company based out of Modesto, California recalls the beef products after a California state health agency linked the ground beef patties to a small outbreak of E coli illness.

The recall came three weeks after the USDA was notified by the California Department of Public Health of a small E coli cluster of illness associated with consumption of the recalled beef.

The potentially tainted beef products have been associated with at least six cases of illness since  April 8.  Another case was found in February.

All the beef products should bear the establishment number "EST. 8268". The affected products carry a production code of 27509 through 01210 as they were produced between Oct 2, 2009 and Jan 12, 2010.

The ground beef patties and bulk ground beef products subject to the recall were distributed to retail outlets and institutional food services providers in California, Texas, Oregon, Arizona and other countries.

The USDA in its announcement encourages food consumers to check their freezers and immediately discard any beef product that is subject to the recall.

Most of strains of E. coli do not cause any health problem. Those strains when found in a food product merely indicate that the product is contaminated with animal feces or some other dirty source.

However, Escherichia coli O157:H7 is a potentially lethal pathogen that can cause often bloody diarrhea, dehydration and in severe cases kidney failure.

Beef is just one source of possible E coli contamination.  Other possible sources for the contamination include venison, sausages, dried uncooked salami, unpasteurized apple juice and cheese, alfalfa, parsley and radish sprouts, lettuce, cabbage and spinach, fruit nuts and berries and cookie dough.

By David Liu

(Send your news to [email protected], Foodconsumer.org is part of the Infoplus.com ™ news and information network)

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