Valley Meat Company, based in Modesto California, is voluntarily recalling about a million pounds of ground beef because it may be contaminated a rare strain E. coli, bacterium E. coli O157:H7. E. coli can cause serious illness including death in some cases. Consumers are being told to check their freezers for any beef purchased from this meat processor between October 2, 2009 through January 12, 2010.
The company says its ground beef patties and bulk beef products that were produced between during that time were distributed to retail outlets and institutional foodservice providers in California, Texas, Oregon, Arizona. A complete list of products has been published on the company's website, and a list of retailers will be released soon.
The USDA said in a press release that seven people are believed to have been sickened between February and June. Consumers are urged to dispose of this beef it they find it in their freezers. Consumers are also reminded that to avoid getting sick, they need to properly cook their meat to at least 160° F, which kills the bacteria.