E Coli :: Update on ground beef, ground beef patties sold at safeway & grocery stores

The public warning issued on July 6, 2007 has been expanded to include additional product information and distribution. The Canadian Food Inspection Agency (CFIA) and Canada Safeway are warning the public not to consume the fresh and frozen ground beef products listed below because the products may be contaminated with E. coli O157:H7 bacteria.

As the food safety investigation has progressed, CFIA had found that some independent or small retail stores may have repackaged the frozen ground beef patties into smaller sizes with an in-store label applied.

Therefore, consumers who have purchased frozen ground beef patties from independent or smaller retail stores during the time periods described above, and are unsure that it is affected product, should contact the retail store to determine if the product purchased is affected. Additionally, it has been discovered that the frozen Butcher?s Cut ground beef patties was also sold at some smaller independent stores.

The following products are affected by this alert:

1. Fresh ground beef (lean, regular, extra lean and market trim)

The fresh ground beef products were sold at Safeway and some independent grocery stores in British Columbia and Alberta between May 24 and June 5, 2007 and bear Best Before dates from May 25 to June 6 inclusively.

Consumers who have purchased fresh ground beef products from independent stores during the time periods described above, and are unsure that it is affected product, should contact the retail store to determine if the product purchased is affected.

2. Butcher?s Cut frozen ground beef patties 1.13 kg

The affected patties, bearing UPC 58200 21604 and a Julian code date of 143, were sold on and after May 24, 2007, at Safeway stores and also at some independent or small retail stores in Western Canada and in Ontario, west of Thunder Bay.

3. Sunny Dawn frozen ground beef patties

The affected patties, bearing Julian date 143-07, were sold on or after May 24, 2007 at some independent grocery stores in Western Canada, Yukon, Northwest Territories, and in Ontario west of Thunder Bay.

Consumers who have purchased the products described above, and have them in their freezers, are advised not to consume these products.

There have been five reported illnesses associated with the consumption of these products.

Food contaminated with E. coli O157:H7 may not look or smell spoiled. Consumption of food contaminated with this bacteria may cause serious and potentially life-threatening illnesses. Symptoms include severe abdominal pain and bloody diarrhea. Some people may have seizures or strokes and some may need blood transfusions and kidney dialysis. Others may live with permanent kidney damage. In severe cases of illness, people may die.

Canada Safeway, Calgary, Alberta is voluntarily recalling the affected products from the marketplace. The CFIA is monitoring the effectiveness of the recall.

For more information, consumers and industry can call one of the following numbers:

Canada Safeway at 1-800-SAFEWAY;
The CFIA at 1-800-442-2342 / TTY 1-800-465-7735 (8:00 a.m. to 8:00 p.m. Eastern time, Monday to Friday).


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