January and February are usually slow months for E. coli O157:H7 in beef.  But it’s March now and another O157 year may well be underway.

Asheboro, NC-based Randolph Packing Co. late Tuesday recalled about 96,000 pounds of beef products that routine testing by the Food Safety and Inspection Service (FSIS) found to be contaminated with E. coli O157:H7.

FSIS, a unit of the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA), made the announcement on its website.  Products recalled include:

    •    Combo bin packages of “Randolph Packing Co., Inc. BONELESS BEEF.”
    •    Combo bin packages of “Randolph Packing Co. Knuckles 90% & 94%.”
    •    30 lbs. boxes of “Beef Ribeye Rolls.”

Each package label bears the establishment number “EST. 6590” inside the USDA mark of inspection.

The meat packing company said the products were produced on February 25, 2010, and were distributed to “federal establishments” for further processing in Illinois, Missouri, New York, Ohio and Virginia.  

The term “federal establishments” has in the past been used for prisons.

None of these products are available directly to consumers.

No illnesses have been associated with the recall.  With two smaller recalls involving O157 in February, total beef recalled for the pathogen so far this year totals 112,574 pounds or 56.2 tons.

Questions regarding the recall should be directed to the company Plant Manager, Wayne Gilberts, or Craig Hamlet, General Manager at (366) 672-1470.