National Beef recalls 60,424 lbs ground beef for e.coli

CHICAGO Mon Aug 15, 2011 12:30am EDT

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CHICAGO (Reuters) - The U.S. Department of Agriculture said National Beef Packing Co has recalled about 60,424 pounds of ground beef products after inspection at an Ohio processing plant produced suspicions of contamination by e.coli 0157:H7 bacteria.

USDA and the company, which is based is Dodge City, Kansas, have received no reports of illnesses associated with consumption of these products.

The beef was shipped to distributors nationwide for further processing and distribution, USDA said in a statement.

Winn-Dixie Stores, of Jacksonville, Florida, said it issued its own recall to customers tied to the National Beef recall, saying some of the beef affected was sold in its stores in Florida, Georgia, Alabama, Mississippi and Louisiana. The beef had "sell by" dates of July 31 to August12, it said.

Colorado Sam's Club stores have also been contacting members who may have recently purchased beef included in the recall, Christi Davis Gallagher, a spokesperson for Sam's Club, told the Colorado Springs Gazette.

The problem was discovered as a result of routine microbial testing conducted by the Ohio Department of Agriculture at a state-inspected facility that had purchased these products for further processing, USDA said.

Each box and chub bears the establishment number "Est. 262" within the USDA mark of inspection. The products listed above may have been repackaged into consumer-size packages and sold under different retail brand names.

E.coli O157:H7 is a potentially deadly bacterium that can cause diarrhea, dehydration and, in the most severe cases, kidney failure. Young children, seniors and people with weak immune systems are most susceptible to the bacteria, USDA said.

Food experts advise consumers to only consume ground beef cooked to a temperature of 160 degrees, which is high enough to kill any harmful bacteria.

(Editing by Peter Bohan)

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