Is E. Coli contaminated Cargill/Excel beef in your fridge?

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PHILADELPHIA –Last Thursday, Cargill Meat Solutions recalled more than 25,000 pounds of ground beef products shipped to Colorado and California because of possible contamination with potentially deadly E. coli. Cargill is likely unfamiliar to shoppers as the beef it produces is labeled using other brands, in this case “Excel fresh meat”. Because the recall was announced 6 days after the beef was produced, the Department of Agriculture is worried that many of these products may already be in consumers’ refrigerators or freezers.

“It’s vital that consumers can easily identify which products they should remove from their fridges and freezers. Consumers shouldn’t need to know complicated brand name structures to protect themselves from contaminated food.  In today’s world, with all the technology around us, we should be able to develop a better mechanism to directly notify consumers of these dangers,” said Viveth Karthikeyan, Consumer Watchdog Associate with U.S. Public Interest Research Group.

This is the third recall announced by the Department of Agriculture related to a product contaminated with the same strain of E. coli in the last year.  E. coli can cause gastrointestinal illness, kidney failure, and may be deadly.