Cargill Recalls a Million Pounds of Ground Beef on E. coli Threat

WICHITA, Kan. -- Cargill Meat Solutions here said Saturday it was recalling more than a million pounds of ground beef produced at its Wyalusing, Pa., Cargill Regional Beef plant because of the possible presence of E. coli O157:H7. It was the second time in less than a month that the meat processor has launched a recall tied to E. coli.

Cargill said it produced the suspect ground beef between Oct. 8 and 11, 2007, and distributed the product to retailers nationwide. It said it learned of the possibility of E. coli contamination after the U.S. Department of Agriculture returned a confirmed positive on a routine test of a sample of product produced Oct. 8, 2007.

“No illnesses have been associated with this product,” said John Keating, president, Cargill Regional Beef. “We are working closely with the USDA to remove the product from the marketplace.”

A spokeswoman for Cargill said 10 states are included in the recall — Connecticut, Maine, Maryland, Massachusetts, Michigan, New Jersey, New York, Ohio, Pennsylvania and Virginia.

Some of the meat included in the recall carried store brands such as Stop & Shop, Weis, Giant, Giant Eagle, Wegmans, and Shop Rite.

Rochester, N.Y.-based Wegmans on Saturday said it was pulling suspect products from shelves in all of its 71 supermarkets. Wegmans said its recalled products included patties as well as ready-to-cook items made with fresh ground beef.

Also on Saturday, Safeway Inc., based in Pleasanton, Calif., said it was participating in the recall, pulling products from stores in Delaware, Maryland, Washington, D.C., and Virginia.

On Oct. 6, Cargill had recalled in excess of 840,000 pounds of ground beef distributed at Sam's Club stores nationwide, after four Minnesota children and four Wisconsin adults who ate the food were reported to have developed E. coli illness. A lawsuit has emerged tied to that recall.

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