California-based Huntington Meat Packing, Inc, is recalling approximately 864,000 pounds–390 tons–of beef that may be contaminated with E. coli O157: H7 after the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s (USDA’s) Food Safety and Inspection Service (FSIS) found a problem during a Food Safety Assessment.

The recall includes meat produced last week as well as product from 2008 that may have been contaminated.

ground beef up close feature.jpgFSIS announced yesterday that the plant is recalling all ground beef products produced between January 5 and January 15, 2010–including a broad list of ground beef patties and beef burrito filling. Each box bears a “EST. 17967” establishment number on the label. (See USDA release for complete list).

According to FSIS, the contaminated beef was shipped to distribution centers, restaurants, and hotels in California.

While looking into the firm’s E. coli contamination, the agency determined that additional ground beef products produced and shipped in 2008 may have been adulterated with E. coli O157:H7, leading the company to recall ground beef products produced between February 19 to May 15, 2008. All recalled products bear the same establishment number on the USDA inspection label and were similarly shipped to food facilities in California.

“While these products are normally used fresh, the establishment is taking this action out of concern that some product may still be frozen and in commerce,” said FSIS in its release yesterday.

The agency reported that it is not aware of illnesses associated with the recalled beef.