Meatpacker recalls ground beef from 36 states, District of Columbia, because of possible E. coli contamination
LINCOLN, Neb. (AP) – IBP Inc. is recalling 500,000 pounds of ground beef from 36 states and the District of Columbia, saying it may be contaminated with the deadly E. coli bacteria.
The recall was voluntary and no illnesses have been associated with the meat, IBP said Wednesday, adding that it presents no danger if properly handled and thoroughly cooked. The government recommends cooking all ground beef to 160 degrees to destroy bacteria.
IBP, the nation’s biggest beef processor, recalled 320,000 pounds of ground beef in April.
Tyson Foods Inc., the poultry giant, bought IBP this year. Tyson spokesman Ed Nicholson said Thursday it would be ”inappropriate” for him to comment on the recall while the companies are merging.
The recalls came just days after American Foods Group in Wisconsin recalled more than 530,000 pounds of ground beef in 17 states because of concerns about E. coli.
The contamination of the E. coli O157:H7 bacteria was discovered through samples collected by the Agriculture Department’s Food Safety and Inspection Service.
The beef was produced Aug. 7 in a Dakota City plant and distributed in 5- and 10-pound packages.
The beef was distributed to wholesalers, distributors and grocery stores in: Alabama, Arizona, Arkansas, California, Connecticut, Florida, Georgia, Illinois, Indiana, Iowa, Kentucky, Louisiana, Massachusetts, Maine, Maryland, Michigan Minnesota, Mississippi, Missouri, North Carolina, North Dakota, Nebraska, New Jersey, Nevada, New York, Ohio, Oklahoma, Pennsylvania, Rhode Island, South Carolina, Tennessee, Texas, Virginia, Washington, West Virginia and Wisconsin.
The meat shipped to wholesalers bears the product code EST 245C SELL/FREEZE BY Aug. 25 A (or B) Box Codes D0271BH or D0371BH.
Consumers who think they may have bought some of the meat were advised to contact the store where the purchase was made.
E. coli O157 can cause bloody diarrhea and dehydration and it can be deadly, especially in children, people with suppressed immune systems and the elderly. The bacteria kills an estimated 60 Americans each year and sickens an estimated 73,000.
On the Net:
U.S. Department of Agriculture Food Safety and Inspection Service: http://www.fsis.usda.gov/
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