Kroger has recalled all ground beef products that were sold between 21 May and 8 June 2008 at its stores throughout Michigan and in central and northern Ohio, the company said yesterday (25 June). None of the ground beef is currently available for purchase.

The company said it had been notified by state and federal health authorities that E. coli illnesses reported in Michigan and in Central and Northern Ohio have been linked to ground beef products sold in some Kroger stores in those regions. The illnesses were reported between 31 May and 8 June.

"Kroger is asking customers to check their freezers for ground beef products - regardless of packaging - with sell-by dates of May 21 through June 8 and return them to stores for a full refund or replacement," a statement said.

"Kroger continues to work with local, state and federal health authorities to identify the supplier of the specific type of ground beef that may have caused the illnesses."

Kroger stores in the affected regions have placed signs with specific information in their meat departments to notify customers.

In 2007, US companies voluntarily recalled ground beef products 21 times. The amount of recalled meat was more than 33 million pounds.