Bel-Air supermarket, a retail store at 1286 Stabler Lane, Yuba City, Calif., is voluntarily recalling approximately 400 pounds of ground beef products that may be contaminated with E. coli O157:H7, the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s Food Safety and Inspection Service announced today.

The ground beef products were produced on Aug. 8 and packaged in various sizes. The packages are labeled “PORTER’S GROUND BEEF NOT TO EXCEED 20% FAT,” with a “SELL BY” date of 08/09/00; “GROUND ROUND NOT TO EXCEED 15% FAT,” with a “SELL BY” date of 08/10/00; and “CERT. ANGUS BEEF, GROUND ROUND, NOT TO EXCD 15% FAT,” with a “SELL BY” date of 08/10/00.

“Because of the potential hazard of foodborne illness from consumption of meat products contaminated with harmful pathogens, we urge consumers who have purchased the suspect product not to eat it and return it to the place of purchase,” said Thomas J. Billy, FSIS administrator. “This is an opportunity to remind consumers to always follow the safe handling instructions required on all raw meat and poultry products and cook ground beef to an internal temperature of 160 degrees F.”

The problem was discovered through routine FSIS microbiological sampling.

E. coli O157:H7 is a potentially deadly pathogen that can cause bloody diarrhea and dehydration. The very young, the elderly, and persons with compromised immune systems are the most susceptible to foodborne illness.

FSIS has received no reports of illnesses associated with consumption of this product. Anyone concerned about an illness should contact a physician.

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Consumers and media with questions about the recall may contact Carolyn White, communications manager, Bel-Air supermarket, at 1-800-725-3977, ext. 6211.

Consumers with food safety questions can phone the toll-free USDA Meat and Poultry Hotline at 1-800-535-4555. The hotline can be reached from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. (Eastern Time) Monday through Friday, and recorded food safety messages are available 24 hours a day.