UPDATE: Tyson beef recalled in response to E. coli illnesses

Wednesday, September 28, 2011 | 11:46 a.m. CDT; updated 10:20 p.m. CDT, Wednesday, September 28, 2011

EMPORIA, Kan. — Tyson Fresh Meats Inc. is recalling about 131,300 pounds of ground beef because a family in Ohio fell ill after eating meat produced by the company that was contaminated with E. coli, the U.S. Department of Agriculture reported Wednesday.

The recall involves Kroger, Butcher's and generic beef products that the South Dakota-based company produced at its plant in Emporia, Kan., on Aug. 23, the USDA stated in a news release.

Tyson sold the beef to Kroger and Butcher. Company spokesman Gary Mickelson said he did not have information readily available to determine which customer bought the generic brand of beef.

Four family members in Butler County, Ohio, became ill in the second week of September, said Butler County Health Department director Pat Burg, who declined to release the family's name.

One person was hospitalized for a week with severe diarrhea, Burg said. Ground beef from the family's home tested positive for the bacteria. No other cases have been reported in the southwest Ohio county, Burg said.

The products being recalled include:

  • three-pound packages of generic labeled beef packed in 36-pound cases with a product code D-0211 LWI, which was sold in Missouri, Delaware, Florida, Georgia, Maryland, Illinois, Indiana, New York, Ohio, Tennessee, Texas and Wisconsin.
  • five-pound packages of Kroger-brand ground beef packed in 40-pound cases with a product code of D-0211 QW, which was distributed in Tennessee and Indiana.
  • three-pound packages of Butcher's Brand beef packed in 36-pound cases with the code D-0211 LWIF, which was distributed in North and South Carolina.

The beef, all 73/27 lean to fat ratio, had a "best before" date of Sept. 12 and the number 245D inked on the packages. The beef was distributed to The Kroger Co., Food Lion, Inc.; SAV-A-LOT, Spectrum Foods Inc., Supervalu and the Defense Commissary Agency.

Mickelson said in a news release the ground beef was sold in pre-packaged printed tubes that are put directly into retail meat cases. He said it is likely that most of the affected product has already been eaten but urged consumers to check their freezers and return or discard any beef listed in the recall.

A list of retail stores that received the product will be posted on the USDA's website.

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