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Beef Recalled in E. Coli Scare

November 23, 2002

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WASHINGTON (AP) _ A New York meat processing company is recalling hundreds of thousands of pounds of ground beef that may be contaminated with potentially deadly E. coli bacteria.

The U.S. Department of Agriculture said Saturday that the processor, Fairbank Reconstruction Corp. which does business as Fairbanks Farms of Ashville, N.Y., is voluntarily recalling about 320,000 pounds of fresh ground beef products distributed nationwide.

The products were produced on Nov. 5 and Nov. 6 and bear the code ``EST. 492″ inside the USDA inspection mark.

Dr. Garry L. McKee of the USDA said consumers need to be aware of the recall.

``I strongly encourage purchasers of ground beef to ask their grocers if they carried the recalled product and to check their refrigerators and freezers. If consumers are in possession of the recalled product they should return it to the point of purchase,″ he said in a statement.

E. coli can cause severe illness, including dehydration and diarrhea, and is deadly in some cases. People who are very young, elderly or have weakened immune systems are the most vulnerable to the disease.

No illnesses have been linked to the recalled beef, the USDA said.

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On the Net: USDA: www.usda.gov

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