A meat supplier has greatly expanded a ground beef recall, which now includes about 5.7 million pounds of fresh and frozen meat that may be contaminated with E. coli.
David Goldman, acting administrator of the USDA Food Safety and Inspection Service, announced on Saturday that the recall would be expanded to include products with sell-by dates from April 6-April 20. The beef, sold in 11 Western states, was distributed by California-based United Food Group LLC.
Goldman said that none of the latest batch of suspect beef is in stores now because the product would be well past its expiration date, but consumers may still have some of the meat at home.
"It is important for consumers to look in their freezers," Goldman said.
The meat has been blamed for an E. coli outbreak in the Western states that resulted in 14 illnesses, spanning April 25 through May 18. All the patients have recovered.
On Wednesday, United Food Group expanded an initial recall of 75,000 pounds of ground beef, adding another 370,000 pounds based on "unspecified concerns" raised by the California State Department of Health Services. This meat had sell-by dates from April 29-May 6.
The recalled products were shipped to stores in Arizona, California, Colorado, Idaho, Montana, Nevada, New Mexico, Oregon, Utah, Washington and Wyoming. They were sold under the brand names Moran's All Natural, Miller Meat Company, Stater Bros., Trader Joe's Butcher Shop, Inter-American Products Inc. and Basha's.
The affected grocery stores included Albertson's, Basha's, Grocery Outlet, Fry's, "R" Ranch Markets, Save-A-Lot, Save-Mart, Scolari's Wholesale Markets, Smart and Final, Smith's, Stater Bros. and Superior Warehouse.
E. coli is a potentially deadly bacterium that can cause stomach cramps and diarrhea that may turn bloody. E. coli can sometimes lead to complications including kidney failure.