Fear of Deadly E. coli Prompts Massive Beef Recall Throughout Southeastern, Southern U.S.
No cases of the bacterial infection have been reported yet.
(Getty Images / August 15, 2011)
The Ohio Department of Agriculture discovered the problem while testing the meat at a facility that purchased the meat to conduct microbial testing, according to reports.
According to a statement released by the USDA, revealed that the National Beef Packaging Co. was the "sole source for the positive product sample," adding that no illness associated with consuming the contaminated meat has been reported.
The recalled products include boxes of ground beef "chubs," which have been described as cylindrical plastic-covered rolls containing ground beef. Contaminated meat was distributed in the form of three-, five-, and 10-pound chubs with "sell by" dates of July 31 to August 12. Each contaminated box and chub is marked "Est. 262" within the USDA mark of inspection.
The contaminated meat was packaged and distributed nationwide, and it is possible that it was repackaged and sold under other retail brand names, according to a warning issued by the Food Safety Inspection Service. Stores known to have carried the contaminated meat include Kroger and Publix stores in Alabama, Georgia, South Carolina and Tennessee; Sam's Club stores in Montana, Nebraska, New Mexico, Ohio, Oklahoma, Pennsylvania, South Dakota, Utah, Virginia, and Wyoming, Wal-Mart stores in Indiana, Montana, Nebraska, North Dakota, South Dakota, Pennsylvania and Wyoming and Winn-Dixie stores in Alabama, Florida, Georgia, Louisiana, and Mississippi.
E. coli 0157:H7 can cause severe stomach cramps, bloody diarrhea, vomiting and low fever, typically for between five and seven days. The bacteria can be deadly, particularly for small children and elderly people.