Smithfield Plant Recalls Ground Beef

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Smithfield Plant Recalls Ground Beef

WASHINGTON - A Smithfield Foods Inc. meat plant said on Monday it recalled 203,600 pounds of fresh ground beef products because of concerns they may be contaminated with the potentially deadly E. coli bacteria.

Moyer Packing Co., based in Souderton, Pa., recalled all ground beef products produced on Aug. 31. The meat was distributed to 11 U.S. states, mostly in the Northeast.

Company spokesman David Bartlett said there have been no reports of illnesses associated with the recalled products. Smithfield, the nation's largest pork producer, acquired Moyer Packing last year.

The products were distributed to a manufacturer in Pennsylvania and retail distributors in Connecticut, Florida, Georgia, Maryland, Massachusetts, New Jersey, New York, Pennsylvania, Rhode Island, Virginia, West Virginia and the District of Columbia.

The U.S. Agriculture Department said the recalled 60-pound and 40-pound cases of ground beef bear an Aug. 31 stamp and the establishment code "EST. 1311" inside the USDA seal of inspection.

USDA said the voluntary recall was initiated after government tests found meat samples tainted with E. coli.

The Stop and Shop Supermarket Co. recalled its ground beef products sold between Sept. 5 and Sept. 14 at its Massachusetts, Rhode Island, Connecticut, New York and New Jersey stores as a precaution.