GREENE — Town and Country Foods is recalling more than a ton of its beef products after testing revealed that some of it may be contaminated with E. coli.
The U.S. Department of Agriculture Food Safety and Inspection Services announced Wednesday that 2,057 pounds of ground and tenderized beef products might be contaminated.
The problem, according to that group, was discovered through company lab testing that confirmed a positive result for E. coli.
The products subject to recall were produced between April 4 and April 10, according to the news release, and were shipped to wholesale and retail businesses around Maine.
Among those that might have received tainted beef: two restaurants that had planned to enter dishes in Wednesday night’s Chile and Chowder Taste Challenge in Lewiston, according to a source familiar with the situation. Those restaurants were advised to withhold their entrees; no tainted beef was served.
No reports of illnesses from the meat were received, according to the Food Safety and Inspection Services.
E. coli can cause diarrhea, dehydration and in the most severe cases, kidney failure. The very young, seniors and those with weak immune systems are the most susceptible to food-borne illnesses.
Food Safety and Inspection Services identified these products as those being recalled:
* 5- and 10-pound boxes of 2-, 2.6-, 3-, and 4- ounce “Town & Country Foods XL Hamburg Patties;”
* 5- and 10-pound boxes of 2-, 2.6-, 3-, and 4- ounce “Town & Country Foods Hamburg Patties;”
* 10-pound box containing variously weighted bags of “Town & Country Beef for Stewing;”
* 6-, 8-, and 10-ounce “Town & Country Beef Sirloin Fillets;”
* 5- and 10-pound boxes containing variously weighted bags of “Town and Country Hamburg;”
* 5- and 10-pound boxes containing variously weighted bags of “Town and Country XL Hamburg.”
Each case bears a label with the establishment number “EST. 9710” inside the USDA mark of inspection. The products contain these packaging codes: 10952, 10962, 10972, 11002, and 11012. When available, the retail distribution list will be posted on the Food Safety and Inspection Services website: http://www.fsis.usda.gov/.
The U.S. Department of Agriculture’s Food Safety and Inspection Service advises all consumers to safely prepare their raw meat products, including fresh and frozen, and to only consume ground beef that has been cooked to a temperature of 160 degrees Fahrenheit. The only way to confirm that ground beef is cooked to a temperature high enough to kill harmful bacteria is to use a food thermometer that measures internal temperature.