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    Tyson Recalls Contaminated Ground Beef

    Cantaloupe outbreak claims at least 16 lives
     

    Tyson Fresh Meats Inc. is voluntarily recalling retail packages of ground beef produced at its plant in Emporia, Kan., and shipped to stores through distribution centers in 14 states.

    A sample of the product, produced on Aug. 23, analyzed by the Ohio Department of Health was found to contain E. coli O157:H7. As a precautionary measure, Tyson is recalling at least 131,300 pounds of ground beef. Each case-ready chub bears the establishment code EST 245D and a “best before or freeze: date of Sept. 12.

    Given the use-by dates, it is likely most of the affected product has already been consumed, Tyson said in a press release. The company is urging consumers who might still have product from this batch to return or discard it.

    Specific products being recalled include are Kroger Quality Guaranteed Ground Beef 73% Lean 27% Fat 5-pound chubs; Butcher’s Brand Premium Beef, Ground Beef 73% Lean 27% Fat 3-pound chubs; and Ground Beef 73% Lean 27% Fat (printed film for retail) 3-pound chubs.

    Tyson shipped the affected ground beef to Kroger, Food Lion, Sav-A-Lot, Spectrum Foods, Supervalu and the Defense Commissary Agency through distribution centers in Delaware, Florida, Georgia, Illinois, Indiana, Maryland, Missouri, New York, North Carolina, Ohio, South Carolina, Tennessee, Texas and Wisconsin.

    A list of retail stores that subsequently received the product is posted on the USDA’s website.

    CANTALOUPE OUTBREAK 

    Meanwhile, the Associated Press has reported that health officials say as many as 16 people have died from possible listeria illnesses traced to Colorado-grown cantaloupes, reportedly the deadliest food outbreak in more than a decade.

    The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention said 72 illnesses, including 13 deaths, are linked to the tainted fruit. State and local officials are investigating three additional deaths that may be connected, AP reported.

    The CDC has confirmed two deaths in Texas and one death each in Kansas, Missouri and Nebraska. Last week, the agency two deaths in Colorado, four deaths in New Mexico, one in Oklahoma and one in Maryland. New Mexico is investigating a fifth death, while health authorities in Kansas and Wyoming said they are also investigating additional deaths possibly linked to the tainted fruit, AP reported.

    Dr. Robert Tauxe of the CDC told AP that the number of illnesses and deaths will probably grow because listeria symptoms often take four weeks or more to emerge in a person who has eaten contaminated food.

    CDC reported cases of listeria in California, Colorado, Florida, Illinois, Indiana, Kansas, Maryland, Missouri, Montana, Nebraska, New Mexico, North Dakota, Oklahoma, Texas, Virginia, West Virginia, Wisconsin and Wyoming.

    The outbreak reportedly has been traced to Jensen Farms in Holly, Colo., which recalled the tainted cantaloupes earlier this month. The Food and Drug Administration said state health officials had found listeria in Jensen cantaloupes taken from Colorado grocery stores and from a victim’s home, AP reported. Matching strains of the disease were found on equipment and cantaloupe samples at Jensen Farms’ packing facility in Granada, Colo.

    The Rocky Ford-brand cantaloupes from Jensen Farms were shipped from July 29 through Sept. 10 to Arkansas, Arizona, California, Colorado, Idaho, Illinois, Kansas, Minnesota, Missouri, Montana, Nebraska, New Jersey, New Mexico, New York, North Carolina, North Dakota, Ohio, Oklahoma, Pennsylvania, South Dakota, Tennessee, Texas, Utah, Virginia and Wyoming.

    The recalled cantaloupe may be labeled “Colorado Grown,” “Distributed by Frontera Produce,” “Jensenfarms.com” or “Sweet Rocky Fords.” Not all of the recalled cantaloupes are labeled with a sticker, the FDA reported.
     

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