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Possible Contamination Prompts Recall of 60,000 Pounds of Ground Beef in Southeastern U.S.

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.

What to Do

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.

  • At Kroger, the recalled products include ground chuck, ground beef patties and meatballs, and meat loaf made in the stores. Packages have a "sell by" date of July 29 through Aug. 12 and were sold at stores in Georgia, South Carolina, Alabama, and Knoxville, Tenn.
  • At Publix, the products include meatballs, meat loaf, ground chuck patties, prepared burgers, stuffed peppers, seasoned Salisbury steak, and other ground beef products with "sell by" dates of July 25 through Aug. 12. The products were sold at stores in Alabama, Georgia, South Carolina, Florida, and Tennessee.
  • At Winn-Dixie, recalled products include ground chuck and patties with "sell by" dates between July 31 and Aug. 12.

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.

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