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E. Coli Threat Prompts Recall of 23,000 Pounds of Ground Beef [VIDEO]

Jun 20, 2013 02:46 PM EDT
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A Kansas meat processing plant voluntarily recalled some 23,000 pounds of raw ground beef after a sample tested positive for E. coli.

Listed by the U.S. Food Safety and Inspection Service (FSIS) as a Class I health hazard, no reports of illness associated with the meat have surfaced.

According to the USDA, recalled cases of beef from National Beef Packing Co. include 10 pound packages of "National Beef" 80/20 Coarse Ground Chuck, package code "0481," 10 pound packages of "National Beef" 81/19 Coarse Ground Beef, package code "0421" and 10 pound packages of "National Beef" 80/20 Fine Ground Chuck, package code "0484."

Affected products carry a use/sell date of June 14, 2013 and were produced on May 25, 2013 and were shipped to establishments in Texas, Tennessee, Kansas, Mississippi, Illinois, Georgia, Kentucky, Louisiana, Oklahoma, Missouri, Arkansas and Arizona.

The problem was discovered through routine FSIS monitoring and an investigation determined the firm was the sole supplier of the sour materials used to produce the positive product, according to the USDA.

According to a press release issued by the plant, the company is "working closely with authorities to investigate this matter and are contacting our customers who have purchased this product."

On average, 41 Class I recalls, which connote the highest health threat, occur every year involving 24 million pounds of food.

E. coli is a potentially deadly bacterium that can result in bloody diarrhea, abdominal cramps and dehydration two to eight days after exposure.

While most people recover within a week, some develop a type of kidney failure called HUS as a result that can occur among people of any age but is most common in children under age 5 and older adults.

Symptoms of HUS include fever, abdominal pain, pale skin tone, fatigue, irritability and small, unexplained bruises or bleeding from the nose and mouth, decreased urination and swelling. Individuals who experience these symptoms should seek emergency care immediately, according to the USDA.

Consumers with questions are encouraged to contact the company at (877) 857-4143 for details about the recall and their return and reimbursement policy. Meanwhile, consumers with food safety questions can "Ask Karen," the FSIS virtual representative available 24 hours a day at AskKaren.gov.

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