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Food recalls

Amber Jones | 7/16/2009, 5 p.m.

The ground beef recall was performed by the Kroger Co. whose products were distributed to Kroger stores in Michigan and Ohio. Kroger's recall was initiated after an investigation conducted by Michigan and Ohio Department of Agriculture and Health and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention discovered a correlation between the 32 reported illnesses in Michigan and Ohio and the ground beef products. Consequently, Kroger abruptly decided to expand their recall to an unsettled amount of their ground beef products including the ones packaged in Styrofoam trays and wrapped in clear cellophane with the various sell-by dates; these products also disgorged concern of a link to the E. coli bacteria.

Further investigation revealed that Nebraska Beef, Ltd was the common beef supplier of many of the Kroger stores. The Omaha, Nebraska establishment and supplier to Kroger announced its own recall to approximately 531,707 pounds of their ground beef components that may have been contaminated with E. coli. However, by June 3, FSIS confirmed that the production practices of Nebraska Beef, Ltd were ineffective to control the contamination of E. coli within their beef products intended for grinding and that their facilities, where the beef products are produced, were unsanitary. Presently, the company has recalled all of their beef products.

The FSIS recommendeds that consumers properly sanitize their hands, cutting boards and utensils before and after handling raw meat. Raw meat, fish and poultry should be kept away from cooked food and separate cutting boards used for raw and cooked food. Ground beef or ground beef patties should be cooked to an internal temperature of 160 degrees Fahrenheit.
For more information on recent food recalls visit the website www.recalls.gov.