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Recall of beef from Colorado company expanded

USDA recalls another 380,000 pounds of beef products from JBS Swift Beef Company because of possible E. coli contamination.

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ATLANTA (CNN) -- A recall of beef by a Colorado company that was announced last week because of possible E. coli contamination was expanded Sunday to include an additional 380,000 pounds of the company's beef products, according to the U.S. Department of Agriculture.

The initial recall of 41,280 pounds announced last Wednesday was voluntarily expanded by the JBS Swift Beef Company, of Greeley, Colo., as a result of "an ongoing investigation into 24 illnesses in multiple states, of which at least 18 appear to be associated," the USDA's Food Safety and Inspection Service said in a statement.

It did not say which states had reported illnesses, or specifically where the beef products had been sold.

The beef products were produced on April 21 and were distributed nationally and internationally, the USDA said. Boxes of the recalled product bear the establishment number "EST. 969" inside the USDA mark of inspection, the identifying package date of "042109" and a time stamp ranging from "0618" to "1130," the statement said.

It added that some of the beef products might have undergone further processing and might not have the "EST. 969" marking on products for sale directly to consumers.

The USDA urged customers with concerns to contact their point of purchase of the beef products.

"The recalled products include intact cuts of beef, such as primals, sub-primals, or boxed beef typically used for steaks and roasts rather than ground beef. (The Food Safety and Inspection Service) is aware that some of these products may have been further processed into ground products by other companies. The highest risk products for consumers are raw ground product, trim or other non-intact product made from the products subject to the recall," the statement said.

Phone calls to the company were not answered Sunday. But on the JBS Swift Beef Company Web site, company spokesman Chandler Keys said, "We continue to work closely with the USDA to ensure that product is removed from the marketplace and the recall is completed successfully."

"It is important for consumers to note that the recalled product from the date in question was sold by JBS as whole muscle cuts, not as ground beef," Keys added. "The ground beef that might have been associated with illness was produced by other companies who often do not use the antimicrobial intervention steps we employ in our facility to reduce the risk of the beef products. Nevertheless, we have agreed to expand our recall of whole muscle cuts out of an abundance of caution for consumers."

Symptoms of infection with the E. coli bacteria can include severe diarrhea, bloody diarrhea, vomiting and severe abdominal cramping.

The USDA urged consumers to cook all ground beef or ground beef patties to a internal temperature of 160 degrees Fahrenheit to kill any bacteria. To top of page

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