Minnesota meat company recalls ground beef over E. coli concerns

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(AP) - A Minnesota meatpacker has recalled about 188,000 pounds of ground beef patties and some other products because of E. coli bacteria concerns.

Rochester Meat Co. of Rochester issued the recall after five illnesses were reported in Wisconsin and one in California, the U.S. Agriculture Department's Food Safety and Inspection Service said in a statement Saturday.

The meat may be contaminated with a strain of bacteria - E. coli O157:H7 - that's potentially deadly and can cause bloody diarrhea and dehydration. The very young, senior citizens and those with weakened immune systems are most at risk.

The affected beef was produced Oct. 30 and Nov. 6. It was shipped to distributors nationwide for use in restaurants and food service institutions. It was not sold by retailers, the USDA service said.

People with questions may call the company's quality assurance manager at 507-529-4759.

They also can find information via the USDA at www.AskKaren.gov or toll free at 1-888-674-6854. Recorded information will available 24 hours a day. Operators will be available from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. CST Monday to Friday.

The USDA said the problem was detected "through an investigation initiated by the Wisconsin Department of Health and Family Services and the California Department of Public Health."

It did not mention specific cities.

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