Nebraska Beef Recalls 1.2 Million Pounds of Meat

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Nebraska Beef Ltd. is recalling 1.2 million pounds of beef because the products may be contaminated with E. coli bacteria.

The recall comes a month after the Omaha-based company recalled 5.3 million pounds of meat that has been linked to at least 49 cases of E. coli.

Neither the company's spokesman nor Department of Agriculture officials immediately responded to calls about the recall after a news release was issued late Friday night.

Federal officials said at least 31 cases of E. coli poisoning in 12 states and Canada had been linked to the meat Nebraska Beef is now recalling, but officials did not name the states.

Some of Nebraska Beef's products were sold by Whole Foods Market, which also announced a recall Friday. Whole Foods is recalling fresh ground beef sold between June 2 through Aug. 6 because of worries about E. coli contamination.

A Whole Foods spokeswoman said it had received reports that seven people in Massachusetts and two people in Pennsylvania who shopped at Whole Foods Market became ill.

As in the earlier recall, all the beef being recalled now was sold to companies that planned to further process the meat. So product labels likely will not include the "EST 19336" code that identified Nebraska Beef.

Several lawsuits have already been filed against Nebraska Beef as a result of the earlier E. coli outbreak and recall.

The company slaughters about 2,000 head of cattle a day and employs about 800 people in Omaha.

Symptoms of E. coli infection include stomach cramps and diarrhea.

Cooking ground beef to an internal temperature of at least 160 degrees should kill E. coli bacteria, if they are present.