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Friday, August 31, 2007

Washington and Oregon: E. Coli Causes Beef Recall

Just a heads up for those that haven't heard.

The Oregon Department of Human Services relayed an alert to consumers yesterday, 30 August, advising them to discard ground beef linked to Northwest E. coli O157:H7 infections after 8 people in Oregon and Washington have been confirmed as infected after eating it. Other American states may also be affected. The alert was issued earlier in the day by the US Food Safety and Inspection Service (FSIS).

The two organic products believed to be contaminated were sold in Northwest food stores during late July and early August.

The stores where the products were sold include: QFC, Fred Meyer, and Safeway stores located in Oregon, Washington, Alaska and Idaho. The natural product is thought to have been sold at Safeway stores in Oregon and Washington and maybe other places too. The meat was ground by Interstate Meat Dist., Inc. based in Clackamas, Oregon.

Senior epidemiologist at the Oregon Public Health Division's communicable disease section, Dr. William E. Keene said:

"If you have any low-fat hamburger in your freezer, check the label for the brand name and the SELL BY date. If it meets the description, be safe and throw it out."

The two ground beef products thought to be contaminated with E. coli O157:H7 are in 16 ounce black trays carrying the establishment code "Est 965" inside the USDA mark of inspection and they have a sell by date between 1st August and 11th August 2007.

The two products are:

* "Northwest Finest" brand Natural Ground Beef, 7 per cent fat. The label is red and black and shows a universal product code (UPC) of 7 52907 60012 7.
* "Northwest Finest" brand Organic Ground Beef, 10 per cent fat. The label is green and black and has no UPC code.

Keene said the first eight confirmed cases of E. coli O157:H7 were in six separate households, one in Oregon and five in Washington.(Source, Medical News Today)

Check your meet folks, better safe than sorry.

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