Hannaford supermarkets in Northeast recalling ground beef

CONWAY, Mass Fri Dec 16, 2011 1:12pm EST

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CONWAY, Mass (Reuters) - The Hannaford supermarket chain, which has stores in New England and New York, is recalling ground beef with a sell-by date of December 17 or earlier because it may be contaminated with salmonella, the company said on Friday.

Fourteen people have fallen ill, and ten of them reported purchasing ground beef at Hannaford stores in Maine, New York, New Hampshire and Vermont between October 12 and November 20, according to the USDA's Food Safety and Inspection Service in a statement.

Seven people were hospitalized, and no deaths have been reported, the FSIS statement said.

Maine-based Hannaford said in a statement most of the people who fell ill had eaten its 85-percent lean ground beef.

Among the varieties being recalled are Hannaford's regular ground beef and its Taste of Inspirations Angus and Nature's Place brands, with content ranging between 73 percent and 90 percent lean.

Hannaford said the precise amount of beef being recalled is undetermined and that all the beef affected by the recall has been removed from stores.

The type of salmonella detected in the beef through a USDA and Centers for Disease Control investigation is the salmonella typhimurium strain, which is resistant to some commonly prescribed antibiotics, according to Hannaford and the USDA.

Salmonella infections can be life-threatening, particularly for people with weak immune systems. Symptoms include diarrhea, stomach cramps and fever within six to 72 hours.

The chain has about 170 stores in Maine, Vermont, New Hampshire, Massachusetts and New York.

(Reporting by Zach Howard, Editing by Ellen Wulfhorst and Peter Bohan)

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