Tuesday, August 16, 2011

E. Coli Outbreak Leads to Major Recall Across the United States

by Kirsten West-Savali, Your Black World 
Publix Super Markets, Inc., Winn-Dixie Stores, Inc., and Kroger Co. have all announced voluntary recalls on beef products packaged on July 23, 2011, with a Freeze by date of August 12, 2011.
The E. Coli threat was found during a routine inspection conducted by the Ohio Department of Agricultureof a Dodge City, Kansas slaughterhouse. In the wake of the findings, National Beef Packing Co. LLC is recalling approximately 60,424 pounds of ground beef products.
“The company has never had a problem with E. Coli, and [we are] checking processes and procedures in an effort to find the cause and prevent it from happening again,”  said a representative for the company.
The recall affects Florida, Georgia, Alabama, Mississippi, Louisiana, South Carolina, and Tennessee. Consumers have been warned that the beef may have been repackaged and distributed to stores nationwide, most likely in Indianapolis and Detroit. Wal-Mart stores in Indiana, Pennsylvania and Wyoming have also been warned to take precautions.
E. Coli 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.
“As part of our commitment to food safety, potentially impacted product has been removed from all store shelves,” said Maria Brous, Publix media and community relations director. “To date, there have been no reported cases of illness.”
Determined to be Class I with High Risk by the USDA, the potential outbreak is a health hazard situation where there is a reasonable probability that the use of the product will cause serious, adverse health consequences or death.
Click HERE for a full list of possibly contaminated products and ways to minimize your exposure to E. Coli.
For more details on the recall, consumers and media are being asked to contact the company’s Vice President of Marketing, Keith Welty, at (816) 713-8631.
***The companies said people should return the beef to their stores for a full refund.

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