E. coli found in California ground beef
State officials on Monday announced that ground beef, tainted with the same deadly strain of E. coli that shut down the spinach industry last year, has sickened a dozen people in five states and Canada, including three in southern California.
The announcement comes one day after the California distributor recalled 75,000 pounds of meat.
Vernon-based United Food Group LLC recalled 10-pound casings and five-, two- and one-pound chubs of ground beef sold under the name Moran’s All-Natural fine ground beef and sirloin, Inter-American Products ground beef; and three-pound chubs of ground beef from several grocery chains including Stater Bros. Markets, Albertson's and Save-A-Lot in California. All the products were distributed by United Food Group and sold in late April and early May.
The voluntary recall affects 11 states where the products were shipped. United Food Group decided on the recall after samples taken by health officials in California and Colorado revealed the meat was tainted with E. coli O157:H7, the same type of bacteria linked to the spinach contamination.
The Atlanta-based Centers for Disease Control are leading the investigation into tracing the origin of the contamination.
All of the products bear a sell-by date of “May/06/07,” a freeze-by date of “May/07/07” or a produced-on date of “April/20/07.”
All of the recalled products also carry the establishment number “EST. 1241,” found inside the U.S. Department of Agriculture mark of inspection or printed on the package.
United Food Group distributes about 300 million pounds of ground beef each year. Last year, Americans consumed about 7.5 billion pounds of ground beef.