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Windom plant tied to E. coli outbreak expands beef recall


Pioneer Press Press

A Windom beef-packing plant is recalling 117,500 pounds of beef trimmings that could be contaminated with E. coli, and that were distributed to eight states including Minnesota and Wisconsin, the U.S. Department of Agriculture said today.

The recall comes after an E. coli outbreak that has sickened seven Twin Cities residents, who purchased and ate ground beef from Byerly's or Lunds. While those stores have already removed any potentially contaminated beef from their shelves, today's move greatly expands the scope of the recall.

The beef trimmings in question were processed on March 27 at the PM Beef Holdings plant in Windom, and the USDA said it "was shipped to distributors and retail outlets" in Minnesota, Wisconsin, Iowa, Illinois, Michigan, Arizona, Ohio and Virginia.

The USDA didn't provide further identification of where precisely the questionable beef might have gone, and warned, "Because these products later became ground beef sold under many different retail brand names, consumers should check with their local retailer to determine whether they may have purchased any of the products subject to recall."

E. coli 0157:H7 is a potentially deadly strain of bacterium that can cause bloody diarrhea, severe cramps and dehydration. The USDA urges all consumers to thoroughly cook their beef, because high temperatures kill the bacteria.

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