November 3, 2007 / 3:14 PM / 12 years ago

Cargill recalls 1 million pounds of ground beef

CHICAGO (Reuters) - Agricultural giant Cargill Inc said on Saturday it was recalling more than 1 million pounds of ground beef distributed in the United States because of possible E. coli contamination.

Beef cattle graze in Wisconsin August 20, 2007. Agricultural giant Cargill Inc. said on Saturday it is recalling over 1 million pounds of ground beef distributed in the United States because of possible E. Coli contamination. REUTERS/Allen Fredrickson

Cargill Meat Solutions said the 1.084 million pounds (491,700 kg) of ground beef was produced at the Wyalusing, Pennsylvania, facility between October 8 and October 11, and distributed to retailers across the country.

The retail chains that sold the beef include Giant, Shop Rite, Stop & Shop, Wegmans and Weis.

The U.S. Department of Agriculture returned a confirmed positive for the E. coli bacteria on a sample produced on October 8, the privately owned company said.

USDA’s Food Safety and Inspection Service said the problem was discovered through follow-up investigation and sampling after a positive E. coli test at another federal establishment.

Symptoms of E. coli 0157:H7 illness, the strain associated with the recall, include potentially severe stomach cramps, diarrhea and dehydration. Children, the elderly and people with poor immune systems are the must vulnerable.

“No illnesses have been associated with this product,” John Keating, president of Cargill Regional Beef, said in a statement. “We are working closely with the USDA to remove the product from the marketplace.”

The recalled products have use/freeze-by dates of October 19 through Nov 3. Most will have the USDA establishment number of EST 9400 inside the USDA mark of inspection.

In addition, there are various weights and varieties of ground beef distributed for further processing and repackaging that will not have the same establishment number.

The recall was the second by Minneapolis-based Cargill in a month. On October 7 the company recalled about 844,812 pounds (383,200 kg) of frozen beef patties produced at a Wisconsin plant.

In September Topps Meat Company LLC recalled 21.7 million pounds of ground beef after a string of E. coli-related illnesses. It was the fifth-largest meat or poultry recall in U.S. history.

Topps, the biggest U.S. manufacturer of frozen hamburgers, has since gone out of business.

For a list of the products subject to recall, click on: here

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