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500,00+ lbs of Ground Beef Recalled for E. Coli

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Another E. coli scare has prompted a recall of ground beef products.  This time, Fairbank Farms of Ashville, New York is recalling more than 500,000 lbs of ground beef intended for distribution to retail establishments in Northeast and Mid-Atlantic regions.

Over the weekend, the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s Food Safety and Inspection Service (FSIS) said there was an association between the fresh ground beef products subject to recall and E. coli O157:H7 illnesses in Connecticut, Maine and Massachusetts.  According to a Reuters report, a death in New Hampshire may also be connected to tainted Fairbank Farms ground beef. 

According to a Reuters report, a death in New Hampshire may also be connected to tainted Fairbank Farms ground beef. New Hampshire officials announced the death on Saturday but did not release information about the victim. The Centers for Disease Control (CDC) also said a New York adult with underlying medical conditions had died.

In all, 28 cases of E. coli have been reported in Northeastern states, including 18 in New England states. Sixteen hospitalizations were reported. According to Reuters, the bacteria involved were from a common strain, so tests were under way to see if all of the reported cases were related.

E. coli O157:H7 is a potentially deadly bacterium that can cause bloody diarrhea, dehydration, and in the most severe cases, kidney failure. The very young, seniors and persons with weak immune systems are the most susceptible to foodborne illness. Individuals concerned about an illness should contact a physician.

FSIS has deemed this action a Class I recall, meaning a health hazard situation exists where there is a reasonable probability that the use of the product will cause serious, adverse health consequences or death.

The ground beef products subject to this recall include:

Trader Joes

  • 1-pound packages of “TRADER JOE’S BUTCHER SHOP FINE QUALITY MEATS GROUND BEEF 85/15.”
  • 1-pound packages of “TRADER JOE’S BUTCHER SHOP FINE QUALITY MEATS GROUND BEEF 80/20.”
  • 1-pound trays of “TRADER JOE’S BUTCHER SHOP FINE QUALITY MEATS GROUND BEEF PATTIES 96/4 EXTRA LEAN.”
  • 1-pound trays of “TRADER JOE’S BUTCHER SHOP FINE QUALITY MEATS GROUND BEEF PATTIES 85/15.”

Price Chopper

  • 1- and 2.5-pound trays of “PRICE CHOPPER MEATLOAF & MEATBALL MIX.”
  • 1-pound trays of “PRICE CHOPPER EXTRA LEAN GROUND BEEF 96/4.”
  • 1-pound trays of “PRICE CHOPPER FRESH GROUND BEEF CHUCK FOR CHILI 80% LEAN 20% FAT.”

Lancaster and Wild Harvest

  • 1-pound trays of “LANCASTER BRAND 96/4 EXTRA LEAN GROUND BEEF.”
  • 1- and 2-pound trays of “LANCASTER BRAND 90/10 GROUND BEEF.”
  • 1-pound trays of “WILD HARVEST NATURAL 85/15 ANGUS GROUND BEEF.”

Shaw’s

  • 1- and 2-pound trays of “SHAW’S FRESH GROUND BEEF 93/7.”
  • 1-, 2- and 3-pound trays of “SHAW’S FRESH GROUND BEEF 80/20.”
  • 1- and 3-pound trays of “SHAW’S FRESH GROUND BEEF 75/25.”
  • 1.3-pound trays of “SHAW’S FRESH GROUND SIRLOIN BEEF PATTIES 90/10.”
  • 1.3-pound trays of “SHAW’S FRESH GROUND ROUND BEEF PATTIES 85/15.”
  • 1.3-pound trays of “SHAW’S FRESH GROUND BEEF PATTIES 80/20.”
  • 3-pound trays of “SHAW’S FRESH GROUND BEEF PATTIES FAMILY PACK 80/20.”
  • 1-pound trays of “SHAW’S ANGUS GROUND BEEF 85/15.”
  • 1-, 2- and 3-pound trays of “SHAW’S FRESH GROUND ROUND BEEF 85/15.”
  • 1-pound trays of “SHAW’S 90% NATURAL GROUND BEEF.”
  • 1-pound trays of “SHAW’S 85% NATURAL GROUND BEEF.”
  • 1-, 2- and 3-pound trays of “SHAW’S FRESH GROUND SIRLOIN 90/10.”
  • 1-pound trays of “MEATLOAF & MEATBALL MIX.”

BJ’s

  • 5-pound trays of “FRESH GROUND BEEF, CONTAINS 15 % FAT” patties.
  • 3- and 5-pound trays of “LEAN GROUND BEEF, CONTAINS 7% FAT.”
  • 2.5-pound trays of “MEATLOAF & MEATBALL MIX.”

Ford Brothers

  • 3-pound trays of “FRESH GROUND BEEF, CONTAINS 20% FAT” patties.

Giant

  • 1-pound trays of “GIANT EXTRA LEAN GROUND BEEF 96/4.”
  • 1-pound trays of “GIANT MEATLOAF & MEATBALL MIX.”
  • 1-pound trays of “GIANT NATURE’S PROMISE GROUND BEEF.”
  • 1-pound trays of “GIANT NATURE’S PROMISE GROUND BEEF PATTIES.”

Each package bears the establishment number “EST. 492″ inside the USDA mark of inspection or on the nutrition label. These products were packaged on September 15 and 16, 2009, and may have been labeled at the retail stores with a sell-by date from September 19 through 28, 2009, unless otherwise noted above. Consumers should ask at their point of purchase if the products they have are subject to recall.

According to FSIS, the recall also includes additional beef products sold under the “Fairbanks Farms” name that were distributed to retail establishments in Maryland, Massachusetts, North Carolina, New Jersey, New York, Pennsylvania, and Virginia for further processing. However, these products at retail will likely not bear the package dates and sell-by dates listed above. Customers with concerns should contact their point of purchase.

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