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E. Coli Scare Prompts Massive Beef Recall

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KTLA: A Southern California meat-packing firm recalled 864,000 pounds of ground beef that may be contaminated with. E Coli., officials said Monday.

ground beef contaminate with e. coli

The some 390,000 tons of beef were distributed by Montebello-based Huntington Meat Packing Inc. Mainly to outlets in Southern California.

The possibly-tainted beef was shipped to distribution centers, restaurants and hotels in California and sold under the Huntington, Imperial Meat Co. and El Rancho brands between Feb. 19 and May 15, 2008, and between Jan 5. and Jan. 15, 2010.

Though no illnesses have been reported, officials of the Food Safety and Inspection Service say an initial problem was discovered during a regular safety check.

When inspectors conducted a follow-up review of the meat company's records, they discovered more ground beef produced and shipped in 2008 may have been contaminated with E. Coli.

"While these products are normally used fresh, the establishment is taking this action out of concern that some product may still be frozen and in commerce," government inspectors said.

E. coli is a potentially deadly bacterium that can cause kidney failure in the most serious cases.

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