July 3, 2008 -- The Kroger Co. has expanded its ground beef recall to include several supermarket chains in multiple states.
The reason for the recall: possible contamination with E. coli.
E. coli bacteria can cause diarrhea, which may be bloody, as well as stomach cramps and vomiting. Most people recover within five to seven days, but some cases may be severe or life-threatening; infants, elders, and people with weak immune systems are particularly at risk.
In June, an E. coli outbreak in Michigan and Ohio was linked to Kroger ground beef, so Kroger recalled ground beef in Michigan and parts of Ohio. That beef was traced back to Nebraska Beef Ltd., which issued its own recall -- mainly for meat processors and wholesalers -- earlier this week.
Now, Kroger has broadened its recall to more stores in more states that got ground beef made from Nebraska Beef's products.
Here's what you need to check for in your refrigerator or freezer: ground beef products in Styrofoam tray packages wrapped in clear plastic or purchased from an in-store service counter from the following stores with the specified "sell by" dates:
- Fred Meyer: "sell by" dates ranging from May 21 to July 5
- QFC: "sell by" dates ranging from May 21 to July 5
- Kroger stores: "sell by" dates ranging from May 21 to July 3 (except for Kroger stores in Georgia, South Carolina, and Knoxville, Tenn., which aren't recalling ground beef in Styrofoam trays or from in-store service counters) or May 19-June 6 for Kroger stores in the company's mid-Atlantic division, which includes stores in North Carolina, northeastern Tennessee, Virginia, and West Virginia.
- Fry's: "sell by" dates ranging from May 21 to July 3
- Ralph's: "sell by" dates ranging from May 21 to July 3
- Smith's: "sell by" dates ranging from May 21 to July 3
- Baker's: "sell by" dates ranging from May 17 to June 4
- King Soopers: "sell by" dates ranging from June 20 to July 3
- City Market: "sell by" dates ranging from June 20 to July 3
- Hilander, Owen's, Pay Less, and Scott's: "sell by" dates ranging from May 21 to July 3
- All Kroger stores and Dillons, Fred Meyer, Baker's, Smith's, and Fry's stores are also recalling Private Selection Natural ground beef sold in 16-ounce packages that were in the self-service meat case with "sell by" dates ranging from July 11 to July 21.
If you have any of that ground beef, don't eat it; take it back to the store for a full refund.
Kroger has instructed all stores to remove the recalled ground beef from its shelves. Kroger's ground beef recall doesn't include ground beef sold in sealed tubes or frozen ground beef patties sold in the stores' frozen food section.
Questions? Call Kroger at 800-632-6900.