Cargill Recalls Beef That Might Be Tainted

Associated Press
Sunday, November 4, 2007

Cargill said yesterday that it is recalling more than 1 million pounds of ground beef that may be contaminated with E. coli bacteria, the second time in less than a month it has recalled beef.

No illnesses have been reported, said John Keating, president of Cargill Regional Beef.

Cargill produced the beef from Oct. 8 to Oct. 11 at a plant in Wyalusing, Pa., and distributed it to retailers including Giant, ShopRite, Stop & Shop, Wegmans and Weis.

Cargill learned that the meat may be contaminated after the Agriculture Department found a problem with a sample produced Oct. 8, the company said. The bacteria is E. coli O157:H7.

A spokeswoman for Cargill said Connecticut, Maine, Maryland, Massachusetts, Michigan, New Jersey, New York, Ohio, Pennsylvania and Virginia are involved in the recall.

"We are working closely with the USDA to remove this product from the marketplace," Keating said in a written statement. Spokeswoman Lori Fligge said the company had no further comment.

Separately, U.S. regulators have tightened restrictions on meat and poultry products from Canada because of concerns about testing practices at a Canadian firm. Rancher's Beef in October was linked to a multistate outbreak of E. coli infections involving Topps Meat.

Starting next week, the Agriculture Department's Food Safety and Inspection Service will increase testing of Canadian meat for salmonella, Listeria monocytogenes and E. coli O157:H7. The inspection service will require that shipments be held up until testing is completed and the meats are proven to be clear of these problems.

E. coli O157:H7 is a potentially deadly bacterium that can cause bloody diarrhea and dehydration.

People with questions about the recall can call Cargill at 877-455-1034.

On Oct. 6, Cargill recalled more than 840,000 pounds of ground beef patties distributed at Sam's Club stores nationwide after four Minnesota children and four Wisconsin adults who ate the food developed E. coli illness.

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