- GENESEO, Ill. (Reuters) -
The world's largest meat packing company recalled more than 200 tons of
ground beef from grocery store shelves across the United States and Canada
on Friday, fearing contamination by the deadly E. coli bacteria.
- IBP Inc. voluntarily recalled the ground beef, produced
in May at its packing plants in Illinois and Alberta, from distributors
and retailers in 25 states and at least five Canadian provinces after the
bacteria was found in samples.
- The Dakota Dunes, S.D.-based company and government inspection
agencies on both sides of the border stressed no illnesses associated with
the meat had been reported, and urged the public not to panic.
- IBP said the product posed no danger to consumers as
long as the beef was properly handled and cooked to an internal temperature
of 160 degrees Fahrenheit (71 degrees Celsius).
- The E. coli found in the ground beef is the same strain
that contaminated the water supply in the farming community of Walkerton,
Ontario last month, killing seven people and leaving 2,000 others sickened
with various symptoms such as bloody diarrhea.
- Escherichia coli 0157:H7 is a deadly form of a common
bacteria found in the intestines of humans and animals. It attacks the
lining of the intestines before damaging the kidneys, possibly leading
to kidney failure and death.
- IBP said it was recalling nearly 266,000 pounds (120,700
kg) of ground beef produced on May 13 at its Geneseo, Illinois, plant after
the U.S. Department of Agriculture found the bacteria in a sample.
- The USDA categorized the action as a Class 1 recall because
of the ``reasonable probability that the use of the product will cause
serious, adverse health consequences or death.''
- Since the product has an 18-day shelf life, it was unlikely
much of the product remained in the marketplace. But IBP asked its customers
to return any still in storage.
- In Canada, the company is recalling about 170,000 pounds
(77,000 kg) of ground beef produced at its Lakeside Packers unit in Brooks,
- The contamination in Canada was discovered by the Costco
Wholesale Corp. (NasdaqNM:<//finance.yahoo.com/q?s=costù=t>COST
- <http://biz.yahoo.com/n/c/cost.html>news) chain, which received
less than 20,000 pounds (9,000 kg) of the beef at 30 of its stores in British
Columbia, Alberta, Saskatchewan, Ontario and Quebec, and alerted the public.
- Costco spokesman Craig Wilson said the recall also affected
numerous other retail chains in Canada.
- ``We're just part of the IBP recall. We're taking care
of our members the way we think we should,'' Wilson said from the company's
head office in Seattle, Washington.
- Jean Kamanzi, the Canadian Food Inspection Agency's chief
of food-borne pathogens, said: ``The product was tested and it was found
positive for E. coli so we recalled it due to caution.''
- In the United States, wholesalers, distributors and a
small number of retailers that received the affected ground beef were located
in the following states: Kansas, Texas, Minnesota, Maine, Missouri, Pennsylvania,
Kentucky, Arkansas, South Carolina, Florida, Georgia, Iowa, Indiana, Wisconsin,
Tennessee, Maryland, Oklahoma, Nebraska, New York, Virginia, North Carolina,
Alabama, Ohio, Illinois and Mississippi.
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