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Possible E. Coli Contamination Spurs Recall of Over 28,000 Pounds of Ground Beef

WASHINGTON, D.C. (CBS SF) -- The U.S. Department of Agriculture's Food Safety and Inspection Service on Thursday announced an Oregon-based meat distributor is recalling approximately 28,356 pounds of ground beef products that may be contaminated with E. coli.

Interstate Meat Dist. Inc., a company based in Clackamas, Ore., is recalling raw, ground beef items that were produced on Dec. 20. The issue was reported to FSIS after a retail package of ground beef was purchased and submitted to a third-party laboratory for microbiological analysis and the sample tested positive for E. coli O157:H7. The FSIS conducted an assessment of the third-party laboratory's accreditation and methodologies and determined the results were actionable. ​​​​​​​

The products subject to recall bear establishment number "EST. 965" inside the USDA mark of inspection or printed next to the time stamp and use or freeze by date. Thee items were shipped to retail locations in Arizona, California, Nevada, Oregon, Utah, Washington and Wyoming.

Retailers who may have sold the tainted meat include Wal-Mart, WinCo, Kroeger and Albertsons. The products subject to recall and the labels can be viewed online.

FSIS is concerned that some product may be in consumers' refrigerators or freezers. Consumers who have purchased these products are urged not to consume them. These products should be thrown away or returned to the place of purchase.

Anyone concerned about an illness should contact a health care provider. E. coli O157:H7 is a potentially deadly bacterium that can cause dehydration, bloody diarrhea and abdominal cramps after exposure the organism.

While most people recover within a week, some develop a type of kidney failure called hemolytic uremic syndrome (HUS). This condition can occur among persons of any age but is most common in children under 5-years old and older adults. It is marked by easy bruising, pallor, and decreased urine output. Persons who experience these symptoms should seek emergency medical care immediately.

FSIS advises all consumers to safely prepare their raw meat products, including fresh and frozen, and only consume ground beef that has been cooked to a temperature of 160 °F. The only way to confirm that ground beef is cooked to a temperature high enough to kill harmful bacteria is to use a food thermometer that measures internal temperature. Additional information on the recall can be found on the USDA FSIS website.


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