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August 24, 1998

Hampton Meat Recalls Additional Ground Beef for E. coli O157:H7

HOPKINSVILLE,  KY (SafetyAlerts) -  Hampton Meat Processing Co. is now recalling two days' production of ground beef that may be contaminated with Escherichia coli O157:H7 bacteria, the U.S. Department of Agriculture's Food Safety and Inspection Service announced today.

    Any ground beef bought at the Hampton Meat plant on August 17 or August 19 is included in the affected lots and should be returned. About 200 pounds of ground beef was sold directly to local customers who came to the meat processing plant in Hopkinsville to purchase ground beef on those dates.

    USDA discovered the problem through followup testing to a recent finding of E. coli O157:H7 in ground beef the plant produced and sold on August 5, prompting the firm to recall that day's production of ground beef. Followup testing for E. coli O157:H7 is conducted for 15 consecutive days after a positive result is found by the FSIS monitoring program.

    E. coli O157:H7 is a potentially deadly bacteria that can cause bloody diarrhea and dehydration. The very young, the elderly, and persons with compromised immune systems are the most susceptible to foodborne illness. E. coli O157:H7 bacteria have been implicated in several recent outbreaks of foodborne illness across the United States.

    "Because of the potential hazard of foodborne disease from consumption of undercooked or underprocessed meat and poultry products contaminated with pathogens such as the E. coli O157:H7 bacteria, we urge consumers who may have purchased the suspect product to return it to the place of purchase," said Thomas J. Billy, administrator of USDA's Food Safety and Inspection Service. "USDA is informing the public so consumers who may have purchased and stored product in their freezers around that time can know to check," Billy said.

    Consumers with questions about the recall may phone the toll-free USDA Meat and Poultry Hotline at 1-800-535-4555. The Hotline can be reached from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. (Eastern Time) Monday through Friday.

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