Jul 23, 2012 12:11 PM EDT

Cargill Recalls Ground Beef: Third Product Recall in Less Than a Year


Cargill Meat Solutions is recalling 29,339 pounds of ground beef following a seven-state salmonella outbreak that has already made 33 people ill.

The U.S. Department of Agriculture's Food Safety and Inspection Service (FSIS) announced Sunday that the company would recall 85-percent lean ground beef packages produced in late May and sold wholesale to retailers.

The FSIS cautioned that the beef was repackaged and sold under various brand names at stores within the Northeast of the U.S. in late Mate and early June. The products have expired by now, according to the used-by-date label, however the packages of meat are now in the homes of consumers.

The retail distribution list of where the beef was sold includes stores from the Hannaford Supermarkets chain in Massachusetts, Maine, New Hampshire, New York and Vermont.

Hannaford Supermarkets informed The Associated Press that it warned customers to check their ground beef for "use or sell by" dates between May 29 and June 16.

"Food borne illnesses are unfortunate and we are sorry for anyone who became sick from eating ground beef we may have produced," Cargill Beef president John Keating said in a company statement. "Ensuring our beef products are safe is our highest priority and an investigation is underway to determine the source of salmonella in the animals we purchased for harvest and any actions necessary to prevent this from recurring."

Cargill is contacting retailers to assure they know which ground beef products are affected by the salmonella outbreak.

In August 2011 Cargill recalled over 36 million pounds of ground turkey due to salmonella that made 107 people in 31 states sick and killed one person. The company later recalled another 185,000 pounds of ground turkey the following month, after it tested positive for salmonella.

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