ConAgra Recalls 19 Million Pounds of Beef

WASHINGTON - ConAgra Foods Inc. on Friday launched the nation's second-largest recall of ground beef after the U.S. Agriculture Department said the meat may be contaminated with a deadly bacteria that sickened at least 16 people, Reuters reported on Friday.

ConAgra agreed to recall almost 19 million pounds of beef on Friday after first pulling 354,200 pounds from the market on June 30. The ground beef, which may have been contaminated with E. coli 0157:H7, was sold nationwide.

The U.S. Centers for Disease Control said it confirmed at least 16 people were sickened by the ConAgra beef in Colorado, California, Michigan, South Dakota, Washington and Wyoming. Another six illnesses were under investigation. The form of E. coli in question can cause bloody diarrhea, dehydration, and kidney damage. Children and the elderly are the most at risk.

The 19 million pounds of additional meat recalled was produced at the company's Greeley, Colo., plant between April 12 and July 11, the USDA said. The label on all recalled meat bears the code "EST. 969" inside the USDA seal of inspection. Consumers were asked to return the meat to a grocery store or discard it.
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