August 30, 1999
Ground Beef Found in Georgia Market
Investigators Still Searching for Source
ATLANTA, GA (SafetyAlerts)
The Georgia Department of Agriculture (GDA) announced that inspectors have been
working with Publix Supermarkets Corporate Offices and United States Department of
Agriculture (USDA) inspectors to determine lot numbers and distribution points for regular
ground beef that tests indicate may be contaminated with E.coli 0157:H7 bacteria.
USDA inspectors discovered the contamination
during a routine sampling at the Publix Towncenter Store in Loganville, GA. Upon receipt
of positive laboratory test results, USDA inspectors notified the GDA during the weekend.
When informed of the possibility of a contamination, as a precautionary measure, Publix
voluntarily removed all ground beef, from all stores, that was received on August 23.
Consumers who purchased regular ground beef from the Publix Town Center Store in
Loganville, GA on Monday, August 23, carrying the store code date of August 25 are urged
to return it to the store for a refund. No illnesses have been reported.
According to Jack Holt, Public Relations Official
from the GDA, the exact source and distribution of the contaminated ground beef has not
been determined and additional stores may be carrying the contaminated beef. The GDA, USDA
and Publix are working continuously to determine the source of contamination.
E.coli 0157:H7 produces a powerful toxin and can
cause severe illness, particularly in children. Symptoms include diarrhea and dehydration.
Consumers are warned to thoroughly cook ground beef to 160 degrees F to kill all bacteria.
Consumers in Georgia can call the states
Department of Agriculture at (800) 282-5852 or for out of state inquiries (404) 656-3689
Safety Alerts compiles
comprehensive safety recall information for the United States. SafeMail is a free email
service to warn consumers of faulty products and contaminated foods. For complete
information regarding current recalls, past recalls and timely product warning
notification visit: www.safetyalerts.com.