Consumer Alert On The Beef Infected With E. coli Bacteria

E-Coli BacteriaA consumer alert was issued by the Federal and state health officials on Thursday, after infected beef sickened nine people – six in Washington, two in Oregon, and one in Idaho. On the eve of the start of what historically is a popular weekend for grilling, the state health officials urged consumers to check the beef in their freezers and make sure it doesn't include possibly contaminated beef.

The health officials reported that DNA tests confirmed that the nine people sickened by E. coli were infected with the same strain of the bacteria. However, the Federal and state health officials say that E. coli bacteria are killed if beef is cooked at 160 degrees.

According to the state health officials, the 41,205 pounds (approximately 20 tons) of beef, which was identified as possibly tainted, is no longer on store shelves, because the sell-by dates have already expired.
The U.S. Dept. of Agriculture told the alert however was issued in case the product remains in consumers' freezers.

The meat, processed between July 19 and July 30, according to the company, was also sold in Alaska, but no illnesses have been reported there.

Authorities identified the suspect products as 16-ounce packages of "Northwest Finest 7% Fat, Natural Ground Beef" with UPC code label "752907 600127" and 16-ounce packages of "Northwest Finest 10% Fat, Organic Ground Beef" with expiration dates between August 1 to August 8. The beef was sold in Safeway, QFC, and Fred Meyer and other stores.