Nebraska Beef, Ltd., an Omaha, Neb., establishment is recalling approximately 531,707 pounds of ground beef components that may be contaminated with E. coli O157:H7, the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s Food Safety and Inspection Service announced today.

The problem was discovered by FSIS through traceback investigations and ground beef samples collected from two federally inspected establishments positive for E. coli O157:H7, as well as multiple samples of Kroger brand ground beef positive for E. coli O157:H7.

Kroger brand ground beef samples were collected by the Michigan and Ohio Departments of Agriculture and Health from patients in Michigan and Ohio. Nebraska Beef, Ltd., was identified as a common supplier to those stores in addition to two federally inspected establishments where FSIS obtained a positive ground beef sample that was matched to the outbreak strain identified in Michigan and Ohio.

The epidemiological investigations and a case control study conducted by the Michigan and Ohio Departments of Agriculture and Health and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention determined that there is an association between the ground beef products and 35 illnesses reported in Michigan (17) and Ohio (18).

See related story: Yet another sad tale of ground beef contaminated with EColi

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There is a new outbreak of contaminated ground beef in Michigan and Ohio that to date has infected 32 people with a dangerous strain of EColi. Today the UDSA issued an official Class I, High Risk recall. By itself it may be not that big a deal (although if you’re one of the unfortunate people who have contacted Ecoli it is a big deal). The bigger picture is the recurrent problem. A BIG problem! How many times is this going to happen and nothing changes? What are we going to do about it?

The story:

More than half of the 15 Michiganders affected reported purchasing and consuming ground beef from Kroger stores. Ten of the 15 people infected with the bacteria have been hospitalized. Those affected became ill between May 31 and June 8.

The same strain of E. coli 0157 bacteria has also been confirmed in illnesses among Ohio residents. The confirmed Ohio and Michigan cases have been linked both epidemiologically and genetically to this outbreak, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). Read the rest of this entry »