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Florida consumers beware: contaminated beef recalled

Beef that may be contaminated with E. coli bacteria can cause illness in people who consume the beef. In that situation, it can be a dangerous product to consumers. Just recently, a meat distributor has recalled beef that is believed to be contaminated.

According to the United States Department of Agriculture Food and Safety Inspection Service, 60,240 pounds of the alleged contaminated ground beef is being recalled from retailers around the country including Winn-Dixie stores in Florida.

A USDA investigation confirmed that a sample of the ground meat had E. coli bacteria present, but that there were no reports yet of anyone being sickened by eating the contaminated meat product.

This strain of E. coli is the most common bacteria in North America and may cause infected individuals to experience health complications that include stomach cramps, vomiting and a low-grade fever. Most people recover within a week, but the infection can last longer and present a more life-threatening issue for the elderly and young children.

The USDA warns consumers to check their packaged beef if it was purchased from one of the stores. Specifically, shoppers should look for:

  • Beef produced on July 23
  • Beef that expires on August 12
  • Beef sold in three, five, and 10 pound tubes

The beef may not be one specific brand but could have been repackaged based on the specific retailer and grocery store.

Recalls such as this one are meant to minimize the illness and injury that a defective or dangerous product can cause. In some instances, recalls are announced because there have already been reports of injuries while others, such as this E. coli contamination, occur prior to any reported illnesses.

Source: CNN: "Ground beef recalled on E.coli concerns," Aug. 15, 2011.

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