Government announces nationwide ground beef recall


Monday, July 1st 2002, 12:00 am
By: News On 6



WASHINGTON (AP) _ ConAgra Beef Co. of Greeley, Colo., is voluntarily recalling approximately 354,200 pounds of fresh and frozen ground beef products that may be contaminated with E. coli bacteria, the Agriculture Department announced Sunday.

The department's Food Safety and Inspection Service said the labels on all the products being recalled bear the establishment code ``EST.969'' inside the USDA seal of inspection. It was produced on May 31 and distributed to retail, food service and institutional establishments nationwide. the problem was discovered through microbiological traceback sampling, the inspection service said.

``Because of the potential hazard of foodborne illness from consumption of meat products contaminated with harmful bacteria such as E. coli ... I urge consumers who have purchased the suspect product not to eat it and return it to the place of purchase,'' said Linda Swacina, acting FSIS administrators. ``USDA is informing the public so consumers who may have purchased and stored the product in their refrigerators or freezers will know to check. Also, diners may wish to ask if their meals contain the recalled product.''

She said the government has received no reports of illness associated with the meat being recalled.

E. coli can cause serious illness and sometimes death. Symptoms include chills and bloody diarrhea.

The USDA referred consumers with questions about the recall to the public relations chief of the company's beef and pork division at 970-506-8052.

The following cases of ground beef products being recalled are marked with the package code ``Freeze or sell by 06 18 02,'' and each case contained six 10-pound cylindrical packages.

``ConAgra Beef,'' ``Ground Beef 75/25 Fine Grind, 6-10. Chubs'' with the case code ''42122.''

``ConAgra Beef,'' ``Ground Beef Sirloin 90/10 Fine Grind, 6-10. Chubs'' with the case code ''42132.''

``ConAgra Beef,'' ``Ground Beef 81/19 Coarse Grind, 6-10. Chubs'' with the case code ''42141.''

``ConAgra Beef,'' ``Ground Beef Chuck Fine Grind, 6-10. Chubs'' with the case code ''42162.''

``ConAgra Beef,'' ``Ground Beef Chuck Coarse Grind, 6-10. Chubs'' with the case code ''42169.''

``ConAgra Beef,'' ``Ground Beef Round Coarse Grind, 6-10. Chubs'' with the case code ''42171.''

``ConAgra Beef,'' ``Ground Beef Round Fine Grind, 6-10. Chubs'' with the case code ''42172.''

``CERTIFIED ANGUS BEEF,'' ``Ground Beef Chuck Fine Grind, 6-10. Chubs'' with the case code ''42262.''

The following cases are marked with a package code ``Freeze or sell by 06 18 02'' and each case contains eight 10-pound cylindrical packages.

``ConAgra Beef,'' ``Ground Beef 81/19 Coarse Grind, 8-10. Chubs'' with the case code ''42410.''

``ConAgra Beef,'' ``Ground Beef 81/19 Fine Grind, 8-10. Chubs'' with the case code ''42499.''

``ConAgra Beef,'' ``Ground Beef 73/27 Coarse Grind, 8-10. Chubs'' with the case code ''42510.''

The following cases are marked with a package code ``Freeze or sell by 06 18 02'' and each case contains 12 5-pound cylindrical packages.

``ConAgra Beef,'' ``Ground Beef 73/27 Fine Grind, 12-5. Chubs'' with the case code ''42816.'' Each retail package, or chub, contains the label ``GROUND BEEF.''

The following product being recalled is marked with a Julian date code of ''151 02'' on each case and each case contains 36 1-pound packages.

``ConAgra Beef,'' ``Ground Beef Chuck Fine Grind, 36-1. Chubs'' with the case code ''42862.'' Each frozen retail package, or chub, contains the label ``GROUND BEEF.''