A ground beef recall is affecting more than 60,000 pounds of meat. The beef was supplied by National Beef Packaging Company, and has been sold by Winn-Dixie Stores, Publix Super Markets, and Kroger Co.
The recall was issued after testing at a Department of Agriculture facility revealed E. coli bacteria, reports WebMD.
The E. coli was linked back to National Beef Packaging Company as the sole source of the contamination, according to WebMD.
The beef recall includes ground beef as well as products made from ground beef including meatballs, meat loaf, and beef patties. The states included in the recall are limited to those in the Southeast, according to WebMD.
The recalled beef bears the establishment number "Est. 262" with the USDA inspection mark, according to Reuters. However, some of the beef may have been repackaged and sold under different names in retail stores.
Consumers should take care even if they have not purchased potentially contaminated beef.
In order to help prevent infections, consumers should cook raw beef thoroughly. Beef should be cooked until it reaches a temperature off at least 160 degrees Fahrenheit.
At restaurants, consumers should also wary of eating beef products that have not been cooked long enough, or are still "pink" in the middle. And, when preparing food, consumers should try to keep raw meat separate from other foods.
E. coli infections can be deadly, and the bacterium is one of the leading causes of food-related illnesses. Illnesses can lead to bloody diarrhea and to kidney failure. Many who suffer only from diarrhea symptoms will make a full recovery.
Anybody who purchased the recalled beef should return the meat to a store for a full refund, reports WebMD. And, those with questions about the beef recall should call National Beef Packaging at (816) 713-8631.