Ground Beef Recall, Meat Sold in 8 States

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Consumers are warned that a new beef recall is in effect. Fairbank Farms issued a voluntary beef recall on Saturday, October 31, specifically for its line of fresh ground beef products sold in eight states. Thus far one person, a New Hampshire resident, has reportedly died after consuming the recalled beef, which is believed to be contaminated with E. coli O157:H7. Two other individuals reportedly have fallen ill as well.

More than 270 tons of ground beef was recalled by the New York manufacturer, which stated in its news release that the products were sold in Connecticut, Maryland, Massachusetts, New Jersey, New York, North Carolina, Pennsylvania, and Virginia. The individual who reportedly died after eating the tainted beef was from a neighboring state.

The recalled beef was produced between September 14 and September 16, 2009. Consumers should check packages of ground beef from Fairbank Farms and look for the product name, package weight, and sell-by date (ranging from 09/19/09 through 09/28/09), as well as an establishment number of EST 492 inside the USDA mark of inspection.

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The recalled ground beef was distributed to Acme, BJ’s Wholesale Club/Burris, Ford Brothers, Giant Food, Price Chopper, Shaw’s Supermarkets, and Trader Joe’s. Cases of 10-pound fresh ground beef chubs were distributed to retail establishments in Maryland, Massachusetts, North Carolina, New Jersey, New York, Pennsylvania, and Virginia for additional processing.

Consumers can return the recalled beef products to the point of purchase for a full refund. Fairbank Farms has established a toll-free hotline (877-546-0122) to answer consumers’ questions. Information is also available on the company’s website (www.fairbankfarms.com). Consumers who experience any ill symptoms after consuming ground beef products (e.g., bloody diarrhea, abdominal pain, dehydration) should seek medical assistance immediately. E. coli O157:H7 is a Shiga toxin, which is one of the most potent poisons known to man.

This latest ground beef recall follows closely after another on October 27, 2009, by South Shore Meats of Brockton, Massachusetts, after several children became ill with diarrhea after eating beef at a camp. Two children tested positive for E. coli O157:H7 and two were hospitalized. As of October 29, the Rhode Island Department of Health and the Massachusetts Department of Public Health had identified more than 20 cases of diarrheal illness. Several other illnesses were also linked to retail purchases of the beef. The South Shore Meats beef recall was for 1,039 pounds of meat.

SOURCES:
Fairbanks Farms news release October 31, 2009
Marler Clark website
Reuters November 2, 2009

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