Meatpacker Recalls Ground Beef

Friday, June 23rd 2000, 12:00 am
By: News On 6

WASHINGTON (AP) — IBP Inc., the nation's biggest beef processor, recalled 266,000 pounds of ground meat Friday that may be contaminated with the deadly bacteria E. coli O157:H7.

The beef was distributed to wholesalers, distributors and grocery stores in 25 states: Alabama, Arkansas, Florida, Georgia, Illinois, Indiana, Iowa, Kansas, Kentucky, Maine, Maryland, Minnesota, Mississippi, Missouri, Nebraska, New York, North Carolina, Ohio, Oklahoma, Pennsylvania, South Carolina, Tennessee, Texas, Virginia, and Wisconsin.

The contamination was discovered through samples collected by the Agriculture Department's Food Safety and Inspection Service and the Arkansas Department of Health.

The beef was produced May 13 in Geneseo, Ill., and distributed in five and 10-pound packages.

The meat shipped to wholesalers bears pack date ''05/13/00'' and code ''245J00134'' on the box. The packages inside the box bear a three-line code of: ``EST 245J'' on line one; ''134 00'' followed by ``A'' or ``B'' on line two; and one of the following descriptions on line three: ''81 CHUCK,'' ''81 GR BEEF,'' ''73 GR BEEF,'' ``SIRLOIN,'' ''75 GR BEEF,'' ''93 GR BEEF,'' or ''86 ROUND.''

Five-pound packages distributed to retail stores in these states for further processing bear code ``D0881BH'' and have the following three-line code near the seam of the package: ``EST 245 J'' on line one; ``SELL/FREEZE BY'' on line two, and ``MAY 31A'' on line three.

E. coli O157 can cause bloody diarrhea and dehydration. Children, the elderly, and people with suppressed immune systems are the most susceptible.

The government recommends cooking all ground beef to 160 degrees to destroy bacteria.