Ground Beef Recalled in 5 States After Children Sickened by E. Coli

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State health officials announced a recall in five states of frozen ground beef patties after at least three Napa County children who ate at Little League baseball snack shacks were sickened by E. coli.

The recall was issued Friday for about 100,000 pounds of frozen patties produced by Merced-based Richwood Meat Co. Inc. from April to May 2006 and distributed in California, Arizona, Idaho, Oregon and Washington.

The children all fell ill after eating hamburgers at the St. Helena and Calistoga Little League fields, and have since recovered, said Karen Smith, Napa County's public health officer. Those cases were reported on April 3-4, she said.

Two other possible cases are being investigated, she said.

E. coli infection causes abdominal cramps and diarrhea. It typically resolves itself in five to 10 days, although complications can arise in young children, the elderly and those with compromised immune systems.

The products being recalled are hamburger patties and ground beef sold under the brands Fireriver, Chef's Pride, Ritz Food, Blackwood Farms, California Pacific Associates, C&C Distributing, Golbon and Richwood.

"Consumers should check their freezers for these products and destroy them or take them back to place of purchase to ensure they do not become ill," said Dr. Mark Horton, state public health officer.