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WASHINGTON - Fairbank Farms, a New York meat processing company, is voluntarily recalling 320,000 pounds of fresh ground beef products that may be contaminated with the E. coli bacteria, the U.S. Agriculture Department announced on Saturday. The products subject to recall by the Ashville, N.Y. firm --also know as Fairbanks Reconstruction Corp. -- bear the establishment code "EST.492" inside the USDA inspection mark. They were produced on Nov. 5 and 6 and were distributed to retail stores nationwide.
"Consumers need to be aware of this recall," said Dr. Garry McKee, administrator of the department's Food Safety and Inspection Service. "I strongly encourage purchasers of ground beef to ask their grocers if they carried the recalled product and to check their refrigerators and freezers. If consumers are in possession of the recalled product, they should return it to the point of purchase," he said in a statement.
His agency said it had received no reports of illness.
The problem was discovered through microbiological sampling that traced the bacteria back to the product.