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US supermarket chain Publix has issued a recall on beef believed to be contaminated with E. coli – after 18 cases of illness were reported in the Florida area.
The US Department of Agriculture’s (USDA) Food and Safety Inspection Service has said that ‘raw ground chuck’ is believed to be the carrier of the harmful bacteria.
According to Publix, the source of the meat itself is currently unknown.
The recall applies to seven products which include the ground meat – across 24 Florida counties.
Areas impacted include Brevard, Charlotte,Citrus, Collier, DeSoto, Flagler, Hernando, Highlands, Hillsborough, IndianRiver, Lake, Lee, Manatee, Marion, Orange, Osceola, Pasco, Pinellas, Polk,Sarasota, Seminole, St. Lucie, Sumter and Volusia.
The exact quantity of contaminated beef in circulation is ‘undetermined’ at this time.
E. coli outbreaks are regularly linked to the animal agriculture industry.
While supermarket chain Cargill recalled 25,000 pounds of suspect meat this week, the FDA has reported that a cattle feedlot may be the source of an E. coli outbreak that led to 210 illnesses and five deaths in March.
In France this spring, fourteen illnesses and one death were traced back to E. coli contaminated cheeses.