California beef recall expands to 445,000 pounds
The Vernon-Calif.-based meat producer that recalled nearly 75,000 pounds of possibly E. Coli-tainted ground beef earlier this week is voluntarily recalling another 370,000 pounds of the firm's products.
United Food Group LLC, working with the U.S. Department of Agriculture and the California State Department of Health Services, announced the expanded recall on Wednesday, citing concerns that the recalled ground beef may have been contaminated with the same E. coli bacteria that caused last year's virtual shut-down of the spinach industry.
The suspected contaminant, E. coli O157:H7, is a potentially deadly bacterium that can cause bloody diarrhea and dehydration and is particularly dangerous to the very young, seniors and persons with compromised immune systems. UFG said Wednesday that persons who believe they may have been exposed to E. coli should seek medical attention immediately.
On Monday, UFG recalled 75,000 pounds of meat after state officials raised questions about possible contamination. The recall now includes the original 75,000 pounds and the newly targeted 370,000 pounds.
The labels of the recalled products bear the establishment number “EST. 1241” inside the USDA mark of inspection or printed on the package. All of the products bear a sell by date of “Apr/29/07” or “Apr/30/07”, a freeze by date of “Apr/28/07” or “Apr/30/07” or a produced on date of “April 13-07.”
The fresh chubs, or tubes of ground beef, subject to the recall were produced at United Food Group’s facility in Vernon and distributed under the brand names: Moran’s All Natural, Miller Meat Co., Stater Bros., Inter-American Products Inc., and Basha’s.
The recalled products were available at Albertsons, Basha’s, Grocery Outlet, Fry’s, “R” Ranch Markets, Sam’s Club (California, Arizona and Nevada Clubs only), Save-A-Lot, Save-Mart, Scolari’s Wholesale Markets, Smart and Final, Smith’s, Stater Bros. and Superior Warehouse, in 11 states: Arizona, California, Colorado, Idaho, Nevada, New Mexico, Oregon, Utah, Washington, Wyoming and Montana.
UFG reported Wednesday that stores in the 11 states confirmed that none of the recalled product remains available for sale and all products currently in stock are not part of the recalled product.
Consumers in the 11 states who may be concerned about Moran’s All Natural ground beef, Stater Bros., Miller Meat Co. and Inter-American Products Inc. fresh chubs are encouraged to contact United Food Group’s 24-hour toll-free hotline at (800) 325-4164 for assistance.
Consumers with recalled products should either throw the product away or return to point of purchase for a refund.
UFG distributes about 300 million pounds of ground beef each year. Last year, Americans consumed about 7.5 billion pounds of ground beef.