May 08, 2007
Seven people have been sickened in an E. coli outbreak linked to ground beef sold at Byerly's and Lunds stores since April 21, the state health department announced Tuesday.
The meat was sold under a store label at the Edina Lunds, and Byerly's stores in Minnetonka, Chanhassen and St. Louis Park, according to the health department.
Five adults and two children were among those sickened. Three were treated at area hospitals. The infections were reported between April 21 and April 28, according to the health department.
State health officials added that any ground beef purchased at the stores since April 7 should be thrown out or returned to the store.
The company has removed ground beef from many of its stores and is cooperating with the investigation, the health department said. While the contaminated beef has come from four stores so far, that does not rule out the possibility that other stores may have carried it.
"We can't be certain that meat from other stores is not involved, since all of the beef used for ground beef for Lunds and Byerly's stores comes from a single processing facility," said Heidi Kassenborg, Acting Director of the Dairy and Food Inspection Division of the Minnesota Department of Agriculture.
Parent company Lund Food Holdings Inc. is offering full refunds of ground beef purchased at any of its 21 area Lunds or Byerly's stores since April 7. The recall includes ground beef purchased fresh then frozen at home, fresh beef patties, fresh or frozen meatloaf and ground chili meat.
The apparent contamination does not include organic fresh ground beef, frozen beef patties, beef purchased in the deli and beef sold in its restaurants, according to the company.