National Beef recalls 60,424 lbs of ground beef for e.coli

10:37 p.m. CDT, August 14, 2011

CHICAGO (Reuters) - The U.S. Department of Agriculture said National Beef Packing Co has recalled about 60,424 pounds of ground beef products produced by an Ohio processing plant on suspicion of contamination by e.coli 0157:H7 bacteria.

The beef was shipped to distributors nationwide for further processing and distribution, USDA said in a statement.

USDA and the company, which is based is Dodge City,Kansas, have received no reports of illnesses associated with consumption of these products.

Winn-Dixie Stores, ofJacksonville, Florida, said it issued its own recall to customers tied to the National Beef recall, saying some of the beef affected was sold in its stores in Florida, Georgia, Alabama, Mississippi and Louisiana. The beef had "sell by" dates of July 31 to August12, it said.

The problem was discovered as a result of routine microbial testing conducted by the Ohio Department of Agriculture at a state-inspected facility that had purchased these products for further processing, USDA said.

Each box and chub bears the establishment number "Est. 262" within the USDA mark of inspection. The products listed above may have been repackaged into consumer-size packages and sold under different retail brand names.

E.coli O157:H7 is a potentially deadly bacterium that can cause diarrhea, dehydration and, in the most severe cases, kidney failure. Young children, seniors and people with weak immune systems are most susceptible to the bacteria, USDA said.

Food experts advise consumers to only consume ground beef cooked to a temperature of 160 degrees, which is high enought to kill any harmful bacteria. ... 8571.story