WinCo Foods announced Saturday that it is issuing an expansion of a Class 1 recall of fresh ground beef products to include ground beef sold at all of its retail stores.  The original recall included ground beef sold only at its Modesto, CA outlet.

Now all fresh ground beef packed in Styrofoam trays and sold at any of its stores between March 28 and April 9, 2010 are subject to the recall.  Winco says the ground beef should either be returned to the store for a refund or destroyed.

No illnesses have been associated with the ground beef recalled by Winco.

The original recall came after an independent lab tested two samples of ground beef purchased at the Modesto Winco that were found contaminated with the dangerous E. coli O157:H7 pathogen.

Since then, Winco said the retail chain cooperated with public health authorities and new information implicated its ground beef supplier for the E. coli contamination.  Winco opted to expand the recall to include all fresh ground beef purchased from any of its stores during the period, an action advised by the California Department of Public Health.

The USDA is investigating, according to the Modesto Bee, but declined to provide further information out of concern for jeopardizing the probe.

E. coli O157:H7 causes abdominal cramping, vomiting, and diarrheal illness, often with bloody stools.  It can lead to serious kidney damage and even death.

Individuals who have eaten fresh ground beef purchased from any WinCo Foods store between March 28, 2010 and April 9, 2010 and who have experienced any of these symptoms should contact their doctor or health care provider immediately.

Any such illness should be reported to the state or local health authorities.  

There are 70 Winco stores located in Washington, Oregon, California, Nevada, Idaho and Utah.