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Whole Foods Recalls Ground Beef Due to E. Coli Contamination

Posted by Chrissie Cole
Tuesday, August 12, 2008 12:36 AM EST
Category: Protecting Your Family
Tags: Defective and Dangerous Products, Food Recall, E. Coli, Whole Foods, Ground Beef, Foodborne Illness


IMAGE SOURCE: © WikiMedia Commons / ground beef / author: Rainer Zenz 

Whole Foods Market recently issued a voluntarily recall of more than 1 million pounds of fresh ground beef in several states due to possible E. coli contamination.

The recalled beef products were processed on June 17, June 24 and July 8, 2008 and sold between June 2 and August 6, 2008.

The beef is marked “EST. 19336” inside the packaging, by the USDA. After inspection, it is also branded “Coleman Natural.”

The company has received reports of seven customers in Massachusetts falling ill with a strain of E. coli that has sickened people in 11 other states and Canada.

Some states included in the recall are Georgia, Kentucky, Indiana, New York, Utah and others. For a full list see a press release by Whole Foods.

The U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention estimates 73,000 cases of E. coli occur in the United States every year, with about 60 of those cases ending in death.

The tainted meat was linked to Nebraska Beef, which has recalled 6.5 million pounds of beef since July and has a long history of safety, health and labor violations.

Recent investigations found confirmed cases of E. coli 0157:H7 contamination in Massachusetts, Ohio, Pennsylvania and Virginia. Investigations are ongoing as federal and state agencies work to find the source of the outbreak.

Consumers who may have some of the recalled ground beef in their freezer or refrigerator are advised to return it to their local Whole Foods Store with the packaging and/or receipt to receive a full refund or to discard it in the trash.

E.coli bacteria can cause serious illness in people who have weakened immune systems such as elderly people, young children and people with underlying illnesses. The typical symptoms of E.coli contamination include diarrhea, stomach pain, vomiting and fever. Most people recover within five to seven days.

“We will continue investigating the plant to see what they have to do, to adhere to food-safety issues,” Laura Reiser, USDA spokeswoman. #

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