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Green Leaf Lettuce and Ground Beef Recall Due to E Coli

Hot on the tail of the recent spinach contamination comes a fresh batch of reports of bacterial E Coli contamination of lettuce and ground beef, which could cause a serious diarrheal illness.

Definite contamination of ground beef has occured, whereas E Coli has only been found in the water used to wash lettuce. The strain of E Coli found in the ground beef is the same strain found in the recent spinach outbreak, a potentially deadly strain. That strain causes more illness than the other strains of E Coli, which were found in the wash water of lettuce grown in Salinas, CA where the recent spinach outbreak occured.

These outbreaks underscore the importance of keeping cattle and other animals away from the irrigation and wash water of our nation's food supply. Bacterial contamination occurs when animal feces contaminates this water that is used, either to irrigate or wash the produce or the machinery used to harvest the produce.

Here are details gleaned from the companies' and AP news reports, which I haven't confirmed from CDC reports since they haven't published them yet.

Nunes' Foxy lettuce:
a voluntary recall of green leaf lettuce designated by the code 6SL0024 sold October 3, 2006 through October 6, 2006 under the Foxy® brand.

The items recalled by The Nunes Company, Inc. are:

* Green Leaf 24 Count, waxed carton
* Green Leaf 18 Count, cellophane sleeve, returnable carto

...distributed in Arizona, California, Nevada, Washington, Oregon, Idaho, and Montana, and sold to retail stores, and distributors who may have further sold it to restaurants. The product can be identified as Foxy® green leaf lettuce sold under lot code 6SL0024, and purchased on or after October 3, 2006 through October 6, 2006.

No illnesses have been reported to date.

Jim's Market and Locker Inc. of Harlan, Iowa:

...ground beef patties and packages August and September 1, and sent it to distributors in Georgia, Iowa, Massachusetts, Nebraska, New York, Texas and Wisconsin, and to one retail establishment in Iowa, said the U.S. Food Safety and Inspection Service.

Each package in the latest recall bears the establishment number "Est. 2424" inside the USDA mark of inspection.
Product details

These products are recalled:

# 10-pound boxes of "PACKED FOR: DAVIS MOUNTAIN ORGANIC BEEF, 100% CERTIFIED ORGANIC 3-1 BEEF PATTIES," with lot code G6-540 or G6-544.

# Five-pound packages of "DAVIS MOUNTAINS 100% ORGANIC BEEF, LEAN GROUND BEEF 90/10," with lot code G6-544.

# One-pound packages of "MASTER CHOICE 100% ORGANIC ANGUS BEEF, 90/10 GROUND BEEF," with lot code G6-544.

# One-pound packages of "DAVIS MOUNTAINS 100% CERTIFIED ORGANIC GROUND BEEF," with lot code G6-544.

# 10.5-pound boxes of "NEBRASKA, BEEF GROUND BEEF PATTY 6 OZ," with lot code G6-541.

# 60-pound boxes of "SPECIALLY SELECTED FOR: FARNER-BOCKEN FOOD SERVICE BEEF PATTIE MIX 6/10," with lot code G6-542.

# One-pound packages of "PACKED FOR: IRWIN COUNTRY STORE, BEEF GROUND BEEF 16 OZ," with lot code G6-541.

# One-pound blocks of "PACKED FOR: IRWIN COUNTRY STORE, BEEF GROUND BEEF PATTIES 4-1," with code G6-541.


The federal service said people could get more information by calling the company at 712-755-5158

Image courtesy of Mr. E.

Others commenting: FoodMusings, Taraneh Razavi, SJ Merc (AP), NPR.
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Dr. Schwimmer's blog explores the intersection of medicine, new technologies, and the Internet.