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Ground beef recalled amid E. coli outbreak that sickened 2 in Va.

A Georgia meat producer is recalling ground beef over fears that it might be related to an E. coli outbreak in Virginia and nine other states.

K2D Foods, also known as Colorado Premium foods, has recalled over 113,000 pounds of raw ground beef products that are feared to be contaminated with E. coli 0103, the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s Food Safety and Inspection Service said Tuesday.

The products affected were shipped to distributors in Florida and Georgia and intended for restaurants. They include two 24-pound vacuum-packed packages in cardboard boxes containing raw “ground beef puck” with “use-thru” dates of April 14, April 17, April 20, April 23, April 28 and April 30. They were produced on March 26, March 29, April 2, April 5, April 10 and April 12.

They also have the establishment number “EST. 51308” inside the boxes’ USDA inspection mark.

“FSIS is concerned that some product may be in refrigerators or freezers of restaurants,” the service said in a statement. “Restaurants that have purchased these products are urged not to serve them. These products should be thrown away or returned to the place of purchase.”

The outbreak, which began weeks ago, has made 156 people sick, mainly in Kentucky (65 cases), according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Virginia has had two cases so far. Twenty have been hospitalized because of the outbreak.

For now, the CDC has yet to recommend avoiding ground beef altogether. “Consumers and restaurants should handle ground beef safely and cook it thoroughly to avoid foodborne illness,” they said in a statement Tuesday.

That means making sure that the ground beef is cooked to an internal temperature of at least 160 degrees Fahrenheit.

This particular strain of E. coli, the service said, is harder to identify, but the results of infection are no less miserable: severe stomach cramps, diarrhea and vomiting for up to a week.

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