WASHINGTON – An Iowa company is recalling about 5,200 pounds of ground beef products distributed from seven states because they could be contaminated with a dangerous strain of E. coli, the government said Friday.
The meat is suspected of having the same E. coli strain responsible for three deaths in the recent outbreak of contaminated spinach. The government said no illnesses have been reported from consumption of the beef subject to the recall.
Jim's Market and Locker Inc. of Harlan, Iowa, produced the ground beef patties and packages Aug. 31 and Sept. 1, and sent it to distributors in Georgia, Iowa, Massachusetts, Nebraska, New York, Texas and Wisconsin, and to one retail establishment in Iowa, said the U.S. Food Safety and Inspection Service.
Customers who bought the products affected by the voluntary recall should return them to the place of purchase, the service said.
E. coli lives in the intestines of cattle and other animals and typically is linked to contamination by fecal material. It's believed responsible for about 60 deaths and 73,000 infections a year in the United States. The potentially deadly strain can cause bloody diarrhea and dehydration.
The very young, the old and people with compromised immune systems are the most at risk.
The Iowa recall is the first significant one involving ground beef since a Tennessee company recalled some 4,300 pounds in early August, also because of possible E. coli contamination.
Each package in the latest recall bears the establishment number "Est. 2424" inside the USDA mark of inspection.
These products are recalled:
-- 10-pound boxes of "PACKED FOR: DAVIS MOUNTAIN ORGANIC BEEF, 100% CERTIFIED ORGANIC 3-1 BEEF PATTIES," with lot code G6-540 or G6-544.
-- Five-pound packages of "DAVIS MOUNTAINS 100% ORGANIC BEEF, LEAN GROUND BEEF 90/10," with lot code G6-544.
-- One-pound packages of "MASTER CHOICE 100% ORGANIC ANGUS BEEF, 90/10 GROUND BEEF," with lot code G6-544.
-- One-pound packages of "DAVIS MOUNTAINS 100% CERTIFIED ORGANIC GROUND BEEF," with lot code G6-544.
-- 10.5-pound boxes of "NEBRASKA, BEEF GROUND BEEF PATTY 6 OZ," with lot code G6-541.
--60-pound boxes of "SPECIALLY SELECTED FOR: FARNER-BOCKEN FOOD SERVICE BEEF PATTIE MIX 6/10," with lot code G6-542.
--One-pound packages of "PACKED FOR: IRWIN COUNTRY STORE, BEEF GROUND BEEF 16 OZ," with lot code G6-541.
--One-pound blocks of "PACKED FOR: IRWIN COUNTRY STORE, BEEF GROUND BEEF PATTIES 4-1," with code G6-541.
--10-pound boxes of "DISTRIBUTED BY: STUBE RANCH, WAGYU BEEF, BEEF GROUND BEEF PATTIES, 8 OZ. PATTIES," with lot code G6-546.
The federal service said people could get more information by calling the company at 712-755-5158, but that number did not answer Friday night. Information is available online at http://www.fsis.usda.gov/News--&--Events/Recall--029--2006--Release/index.asp