WebMD Health News
Laura J. Martin, MD
Aug. 15, 2011 -- More than 60,000 pounds of ground beef sold at three major grocery store chains in the Southeast have been recalled because of potential E. coli contamination.
The ground beef was supplied by National Beef Packaging Co. of Dodge City, Kan. and sold by Winn-Dixie Stores Inc, Publix Super Markets Inc., and Kroger Co.
The USDA says routine testing at an Ohio Department of Agriculture facility revealed E. coli 0157:H7 bacteria. Further investigation identified the National Beef Packing Co. as the sole source of the tainted ground beef.
The USDA says there have been no reports of illness from the tainted ground beef.
E. coli 0157:H7 is a potentially deadly bacteria that can cause bloody diarrhea, dehydration, and in the most serious cases, kidney failure.
Children, the elderly, and people with weak immune systems are the most susceptible to illness caused by E. coli bacteria.
Officials say the ground beef recall affects products sold mainly in Florida, Georgia, Alabama, Mississippi, Louisiana, South Carolina, and Tennessee. But the meat was also sent to several distributors and may have been repackaged for sale nationwide.
People should return any affected ground beef products to their stores for a full refund.
USDA officials recommend that all ground beef products be cooked to a temperature of 160 degrees in order to kill any potentially harmful bacteria.
For more information on the recall, contact National Beef at (816) 713-8631.
SOURCES:News release, U.S. Department of Agriculture, Food Safety and Inspection Service.News release, Kroger Co.News release, Publix.
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