The problem was discovered through an epidemiological investigation of illnesses, the USDA said. On May 13, 2009, FSIS was informed by the Ohio Department of Health of a cluster of E. coli O157:H7 infections. Illnesses have been reported in Ohio, Pennsylvania, and Illinois. The illnesses have been linked to consumption of the recalled ground beef.
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The recalled ground beef products were produced on March 10, 2009 and distributed nationwide. Each recalled product bears the establishment number "EST. 5712" inside the USDA mark of inspection. The (2-1), (3-1), (4-1), (5-1) and (6-1) markings refer to the number of portions per pound.
The recalled brands include 3S, Grillmaster, J&B, Klub, Ultimate, Thick 'N Savory and numerous generic brands. Most of the recalls are for 10-pound cases of beef patties. The FDA has posted a list of recalled products.