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129,000 pounds of beef yanked

May 17, 2007 | THE SAGINAW NEWS

Officials at a bulk foods outlet say they will continue to do business with a Kalamazoo meat company that is recalling 129,000 pounds of beef products because of possible E. coli contamination.

Davis Creek Meats and Seafood supplies Gordon Food Service, which has locations at 3800 Bay in Saginaw Township and in Bay City.

The U.S. Department of Agriculture said Davis Creek made the meat products specifically for Gordon, which supplies 5,000 companies.

Bob Eichinger, director of marketing for Grand Rapids-based Gordon, said he is aware of at least two known reported illnesses in connection with the contamination.

Officials are unsure how it occurred.

"I am not trying to minimize what happened, but only a small portion made it to customers, maybe 20,000 pounds, and the rest remained in the warehouse," Eichinger said.

"Our normal business procedures for dealing with contamination enabled us to quarantine this product very quickly.

"We take it very seriously."

No word on when the company will resume selling Davis Creek Meats, but Eichinger indicated that Gordon has enough confidence in the company not to sever their relationship.

Davis Creek processed the beef between March 1 and April 30 and shipped it to distribution centers and retailers in Arkansas, Florida, Illinois, Indiana, Iowa, Kansas, Kentucky, Michigan, Missouri, Ohio, Pennsylvania, Tennessee, Virginia, West Virginia and Wisconsin.

The Michigan Department of Public Health discovered the problem as part of an E. coli illness investigation.

The items under recall include boxes of mechanically tenderized steaks and ground beef of different weights. The boxes have the labels "Est. 1947A."

Symptoms of E. coli include stomach cramps and diarrhea that may turn bloody within one to three days. E. coli sometimes can lead to complications, including kidney failure.

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