CHICAGO Topps Meat Company LLC has expanded its recall to include 21.7 million pounds (9,800 tonnes) of ground beef products that may be contaminated with E. coli bacteria, the Elizabeth, New Jersey-based company said on Saturday.
The beef has a "sell by date" or "best if used by date" between September 25, 2007, and September 25, 2008. All recalled products will have a U.S. Department of Agriculture establishment number of EST 9748, which is located on the back panel of the package and/or in the USDA legend.
On Tuesday, the company announced a recall of 331,582 (150 tonnes) pounds of frozen ground beef products.
The problem was discovered through sampling done by the New York State Department of Health as part of their coordinated investigation with the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention into reported illnesses, the company said.
Products affected by this expanded recall were distributed to retail grocery stores and food service institutions throughout the United States. Based on consumption patterns, Topps said it believes that the vast majority of the recalled product has been consumed.
E. coli can cause potentially fatal complications and symptoms include stomach cramps and diarrhea.
Topps is a privately held company.