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Kansas Meat Processor Recalls Ground Beef Due to Possible E-Coli Contamination

Jun 20, 2013

A Kansas meat processing plant has recalled nearly 23,000 pounds of ground beef that may be contaminated with E. coli bacteria.

The New York Daily News reports that National Beef Packing Company of Liberal, Kansas recalled the ground beef after a positive test result for E. coli O157:H7 during routine monitoring.

The recalled ground beef was produced on May 25, 2013 and shipped in clear 10-lb packages to wholesale and food service distributors and military commissaries in Texas, Tennessee, Kansas, Mississippi, Illinois, Georgia, Kentucky, Louisiana, Oklahoma, Missouri, Arkansas and Arizona. National Beef Packing Company said it is “working closely with authorities to investigate this matter and are contacting our customers who have purchased this product," the Daily News reports.

The U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) Food Safety and Inspection Service and the company have received no reports of illnesses linked with eating the product.

The symptoms of E. coli infections vary but often include severe stomach cramps, diarrhea (often bloody), and vomiting, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). Fever is usually not very high (less than 101°F/38.5°C). Most people get better within five to seven days. Some infections are very mild, but others are severe or even life threatening. Young children and the elderly are more likely to develop severe illness and hemolytic uremic syndrome (HUS) than others, but even healthy older children and young adults can become seriously ill.

To avoid an E. coli infection, the CDC advises thorough hand washing after using the bathroom or changing diapers and before preparing or eating food. Meat should be thoroughly cooked, ground beef to a temperature of at least 160°F/70°C. To prevent cross contamination in food preparation areas, one should thoroughly wash their hands, as well as counters, cutting boards and utensils after they have touched raw meat.

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