CDC Encourages Consumers to Check the Labels on Frozen Steak Products

WASHINGTON, D.C. and ATLANTA -- The Centers for Disease Conytrol and Prevention (CDC) encourages consumers to be aware of a USDA recall of 739,000 pounds of frozen steak produced from March 17 through March 22, 2003. These products were produced by Stampede Meat, Inc. and bear the USDA establishment code of "EST. 19113."

The meat was sold under a variety of brand names and distributed to retail grocery stores, restaurants, institutions and to door-to-door meat sales companies in at least 18 states. Meat potentially contaminated by E. coli O157:H7 should not be eaten. E. coli O157:H7 infection often causes severe bloody diarrhea and abdominal cramps; sometimes the infection causes non-bloody diarrhea or no symptoms. Usually little or no fever is present, and the illness resolves in 5 to 10 days. In some persons, particularly children under 5 years of age and the elderly, the infection can also cause a complication called hemolytic uremic syndrome, in which the red blood cells are destroyed and the kidneys fail. About 2 percent to 7 percent of infections lead to this complication. More information about E. coli O157:H7 can be found on the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention World Wide Web site at: http://www.cdc.gov/ncidod/dbmd/diseaseinfo/escherichiacoli_g.htm.

Consumers are encouraged to visit the USDA/FSIS World Wide Web site for details of the recalled meat, included brand names at: http://www.fsis.usda.gov/oa/recalls/rec_intr.htm.

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