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Supplier expands ground beef recall

The third alert in a week says 5.7 million pounds of fresh and frozen meat may contain E. coli.

June 10, 2007|From the Associated Press

LOS ANGELES — For the third time in a week, a California-based meat supplier has expanded its ground beef recall. It now covers about 5.7 million pounds of fresh and frozen meat that may be contaminated with E. coli.

David Goldman, acting administrator of the U.S. Department of Agriculture's Food Safety and Inspection Service, announced Saturday that the recall would be expanded to include products with sell-by dates from April 6 through April 20.

The beef was distributed by United Food Group.

Goldman said that none of the latest batch of suspect beef is in stores now because the product would be well past its expiration date but that people may still have some of the meat at home.

"It is important for consumers to look in their freezers," Goldman said.

The meat has been blamed for an Escherichia coli outbreak in the Western states that resulted in 14 illnesses from April 25 to May 18. All of the patients have recovered.

On Wednesday, United Food Group expanded an initial recall of 75,000 pounds of ground beef, adding 370,000 pounds based on "unspecified concerns" raised by the California Department of Health Services.

This meat had sell-by dates from April 29 to May 6.

The recalled products were shipped to stores in California, Arizona, Colorado, Idaho, Montana, Nevada, New Mexico, Oregon, Utah, Washington and Wyoming. They were sold under the brand names Moran's All Natural, Miller Meat Co., Stater Bros., Trader Joe's Butcher Shop, Inter-American Products and Bashas'.

The affected grocery stores included Albertsons, Bashas', Grocery Outlet, Fry's, R Ranch Markets, Save-A-Lot, Save Mart, Scolari's Wholesale Markets, Smart & Final, Smith's, Stater Bros. and Superior Warehouse.

E. coli is a potentially deadly bacterium that can cause stomach cramps and diarrhea that may turn bloody.

It can sometimes lead to complications, including kidney failure.

People with questions can call United Food Group's hotline at (800) 325-4164. Those with recalled products should throw them away or return them to the place of purchase for a refund.

More information about the recall, including a list of affected products, can be found online at: www.fsis.usda.gov.

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