Neb. Firm Recalls Beef, Buffalo Suspected to Have Dangerous E-Coli

July 27, 2007

A Hastings company is recalling about 5,900 pounds of ground beef and buffalo products distributed in Nebraska and Colorado because they could be contaminated with a dangerous strain of E. coli, the government said Wednesday.

The U.S. Department of Agriculture said the recall was initiated after reports of illness and investigation by the Nebraska health department and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

The recall includes 6-pound to 25-pound boxes of beef patties, ground buffalo patties and char patties. Each package bears the establishment number “Est. 5650” inside the USDA mark of inspection and a June package date.

The Nebraska Department of Health and Human Services could not provide additional information late Wednesday, a spokeswoman said.

Custom Packing produced the ground beef products on June 7 and distributed them to restaurants and institutions in Nebraska, according to the U.S. Food Safety and Inspection Service. The ground buffalo was sent to restaurants and institutions in Colorado.

None of the meat products were sold to grocery stores.

A man who answered the phone Wednesday afternoon at Custom Packing said the spokesman was unavailable.

Customers who bought the products affected by the voluntary recall should return them to the place of purchase, the USDA said.

E. coli lives in the intestines of cattle and other animals and typically is linked to contamination by fecal material. It’s believed responsible for about 60 deaths and 73,000 infections a year in the United States. The potentially deadly strain can cause bloody diarrhea and dehydration.

The very young, the old and people with compromised immune systems are the most at risk.

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