First Class Foods Inc., out of Hawthorne, California, has issued a recall of 34,373 pounds of ground beef that were packaged on December 7 and December 16. The beef is labeled as organic and the company is concerned that the beef has been contaminated with E. coli bacteria which can cause illness and worse in humans.
The recall notice came on New Years Eve morning, from the company in California. They stated that the packages of ground beef have the words and letters "EST. 18895" printed on them. The shipments of beef were sent to California, New York, New Jersey, North Carolina, Wisconsin and Washington state.
The company itself took samples of the beef and found that it contained traces of E. coli. So far, according to federal authorities, there have been no reports of any illnesses associated with the beef.
E. coli can cause severe illnesses if it is ingested. Bloody diarrhea, vomiting and fever can ensue. This can lead to dehydration and kidney failure. The illness can be particularly dangerous for children and the elderly and those who may have weak immune systems.