E. coli Fears Prompt Beef Recall

The discovery of E. coli bacteria in ground beef from Kansas has prompted the U.S. Department of Agriculture to issue a recall of more than 60,000 pounds of ground beef from across the country. E. coli is a fairly common bacterium, but can cause serious illnesses if consumed.

Typically, E. coli causes gastrointestinal distress in those infected, including nausea, vomiting, and bloody diarrhea. E. coli is particularly dangerous to the very young, the elderly, or anyone with a weaker immune system.

The E. coli contamination in Kansas was discovered through routine testing and inspection by the Ohio Department of Agriculture, which tested the meat during a regular inspection at the facility that purchased it. Further testing revealed that the Kansas facility, the National Beef Packing Co. of Dodge City, was the sole supplier of the tainted meat.

Recalls have been issued for all facilities and state that purchased meat from National Beef. The recall has been limited to the Southeastern United States, concentrating on Florida, North Carolina, Tennessee, Alabama, Mississippi, Louisiana, and Georgia.

So far no illnesses have been reported to state or federal agencies.

The Kansas beef scare comes in the midst of a similar E. coli outbreak in Oregon. Strawberries sold throughout that state have been recalled in the wake of E. coli contamination discovered in an Oregon berry farm.

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Written by: Justin Ellison / Farm Plus Staff Writer