Cargill recalls US ground beef after salmonella outbreak

July 23 Mon Jul 23, 2012 11:06pm IST

July 23 (Reuters) - Nearly 15 tons of ground beef have been recalled by a unit of agriculture conglomerate Cargill Inc in connection with a seven-state outbreak of salmonella across the northeast and Virginia, the United States Department of Agriculture said.

Cargill Meat Solutions, based in Wichita, Kansas, voluntarily recalled 29,339 pounds of fresh ground beef products produced at its Wyalusing, Pa., plant that may be contaminated with salmonella, the USDA's Food Safety and Inspection Service announced late Sunday.

The products were produced on May 25, 2012, and shipped to distribution centers in Connecticut, Maine and New York. The recalled meat was sold in Hannaford supermarket stores in Massachusetts, Maine, New Hampshire, New York and Vermont, said the USDA.

Though the meat's use-by date has passed and it is no longer sold at retail, the recall was made on concerns that some product may be frozen in consumers' freezers, the USDA said.

In a press release, Hannaford alerted their customers in all markets to check their freezers with ground beef with "use or sell by" dates between May 29 and June 16, promising a full refund for any returned meat.

Cargill said in a statement that the recall is a result of its own investigation and information provided by federal agencies.

"Food borne illnesses are unfortunate and we are sorry for anyone who became sick from eating ground beef we may have produced," Cargill Beef president John Keating said in the release. (Reporting By Joseph O'Leary; Editing by Bob Burgdorfer)