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Bison E. coli Recall Grows; Retailers Named

That bad buffalo meat, originally recalled July 2, is being distributed nationwide through a blue chip retail network.  And, the recall was reissued July 7 to include 776 additional pounds of bison products that were sent off to a Nevada processor for additional cuts.

The 66,776 pounds of ground and tenderized bison steak products were recalled because they may be contaminated with E. coli O157:H7, according to the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s Food Safety and Inspection Service (FSIS).

bison-steak-recall-featured.jpgYesterday, FSIS disclosed that ten major retail chains were believed to be selling the E. coli-contaminated buffalo meat at the time the recall.   Among the retailers were: Albertson’s, Giant Foods, Hannaford’s, King Sooper’s, Kroger’s, Market Basket, Price Chopper’s, Stop & Shop Supermarkets, Super Valu, and Whole Foods.

Source of the recalled bison meat is Rocky Mountain National Meats, based in Henderson, CO.

A five person cluster of E. coli O157:H7 illnesses, with onset dates between June 4 and 9, 2010, in Colorado and one case in New York State led FSIS to suspect the bison was making people sick.

FSIS said the New York case had “an indistinguishable” PFGE pattern.

“FSIS determined there is an association between ground bison products and the cluster of illnesses in the state of Colorado,” the agency said in a press release.

Here the specific list of recalled bison products from Rocky Mountain Natural Meats:

16-ounce packages of “GREAT RANGE BRAND ALL NATURAL GROUND BISON.” These products have a “sell or freeze by” date of June 21, June 22 or June 24, 2010.

16-ounce packages of “NATURE’S RANCHER GROUND BUFFALO.” These products have a “sell or freeze by” date of June 22, 2010.

16-ounce packages of “THE BUFFALO GUYS ALL NATURAL GROUND BUFFALO 90% LEAN.” These products have a lot number of 0147.

12-ounce packages of “GREAT RANGE BRAND ALL NATURAL BISON STEAK MEDALLIONS.” These products have a “sell or freeze by” date of June 23 and June 24, 2010.

12-ounce packages of “GREAT RANGE BRAND ALL NATURAL BISON SIRLOIN STEAKS.” These products have a “sell or freeze by” date of June 20, June 23 and June 24, 2010.

15-pound boxes of “ROCKY MOUNTAIN NATURAL MEATS, INC. BISON 10 OZ SIRLOIN STEAK.” These products went to restaurants and bear a Julian Code of 0141.

Various weight boxes of “BISON B TRIM.” These products bear a production date of May 21, 2010 and a Julian Code of 14110. The boxes also state “KEEP REFRIGERATED.”

E. coli O157:H7 is a potentially deadly bacterium that can cause bloody diarrhea, dehydration, and in the most severe cases, kidney failure. The very young, seniors and persons with weak immune systems are the most susceptible to foodborne illness. Individuals concerned about an illness should contact a physician.

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