E-Coli Scare Prompts Tyson To Recall Ground Beef

DETROIT (WWJ/AP) – Federal agriculture officials say Tyson Fresh Meats Inc. is recalling about 131,300 pounds of ground beef that might be contaminated with E. coli.

The U.S. Department of Agriculture announced Wednesday that the department became aware of the problem when health officials notified the agency Monday about E. coli illnesses in Butler County, Ohio. Ground beef collected from the patients’ homes tested positive for the bacteria.

The products being recalled include Kroger-brand ground beef; Butcher’s Brand beef and generic label beef. The beef was labeled 73% lean, 27% fat. All the beef was produced Aug. 23 with a “best before or freeze by” date of Sep. 12, 2011.

The Kroger beef has a product code of D-0211 QW; the Butcher’s Brand code is D-0211 LWIF and generic label’s product code is D-0211 LWI.

Dale Hollandsworth, Customer Communications Manager for The Kroger Co. of Michigan, issued a statement saying that Michigan Kroger stores are not affected by this recall.

Preparing ground beef for safe consumption

Wash hands with warm, soapy water for at least 20 seconds before and after handling raw meat and poultry. Wash cutting boards, dishes and utensils with hot, soapy water. Immediately clean spills.

Keep raw meat, fish and poultry away from other food that will not be cooked.

Consumers should only eat ground beef or ground beef patties that have been cooked to a safe internal temperature of 160° F.

Color is NOT a reliable indicator that ground beef or ground beef patties have been cooked to a temperature high enough to kill harmful bacteria such as E. coli.

The only way to be sure ground beef is cooked to a high enough temperature to kill harmful bacteria is to use a thermometer to measure the internal temperature.

Refrigerate raw meat and poultry within two hours after purchase or one hour if temperatures exceed 90° F. Refrigerate cooked meat and poultry within two hours after cooking.

The Associated Press contributed to this report.

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