Company Recalls Beef Over E. Coli Fears

Fugitive investor Samuel Israel leaves U.S. District Court in Springfield, Mass., after turning himself to authorities on Wednesday, July 2, 2008. (AP Photo/The Springfield Republican, Christopher Evans)
AP Photo
A California company voluntarily recalled 370,000 pounds of beef in several western states because of the risk of possible E. coli contamination, CBS News reports.

Steven Cohen from the Food Safety and Inspection Service says 11 people have become ill, but the last known case to be possibly linked to this occurred in early May.

The ground beef products were shipped by United Food Group of Vernon, Calif., to retail distribution centers in Arizona, California, Colorado, Idaho, Montana, Nevada, New Mexico, Oregon, Utah, Washington and Wyoming.

Although the possible contamination from E. coli during processing occurred on April 20th and the meat distributed was marked with a shelf life of May 6th and 7th, consumers are warned to check their freezers.

According to a statement released on behalf of United Food Group, the labels on the recalled products say "EST. 1241" inside the USDA mark of
inspection, or printed on the package. All of the suspect beef packages have a sell-by date of "Apr/29/07" or "Apr/30/07", a freeze-by date of
"Apr/28/07" or "Apr/30/07", or a produced-on date of "April 13-07".

The recall of the 370,000 pounds of tube-packaged beef is an expansion of a recall first announced three days ago, which only referred to meat with a production date of April 13th.

According to the company's statement, stores in all 11 of the western states where the recalled beef had been sold were able to confirm that none of the meat was still on shelves.

Todd Waldman, United's senior vice president, said in the statement: "Given our long history of focusing on product safety and our standards of excellence, we will err on the side of being cautious with this recall."
Ryan Corsaro