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USDA recalls beef headed for Georgia school lunches

By the CNN Wire Staff
September 25, 2011 -- Updated 0045 GMT (0845 HKT)
STORY HIGHLIGHTS
  • U.S. Department of Agriculture issues recall for 40,000 pounds of beef products
  • Recall is due to possible E. coli contamination
  • Beef products were shipped to two warehouses in Georgia
  • Beef products were intended for six school systems in Georgia

(CNN) -- The U.S. Department of Agriculture issued a Class I recall for 40,000 pounds of ground beef products intended for Georgia school lunches, due to possible E. coli contamination.

The beef was produced by Palo Duro Meat in Amarillo, Texas, by September 9, according to a statement released by the USDA's Food Safety and Inspection Service Friday. It was shipped to two Georgia warehouses, where it was to be distributed to a variety of institutions, including six school districts associated with the National School Lunch Program.

However, USDA authorities say they are not aware of the beef having been served as part of any school lunches, adding that the bulk of the beef products have not left the warehouses.

The beef was shipped in 40-pound boxes. Each case contains the mark "Est. 7282" and a production code of 19110.

The contaminated products may have gotten mixed in with commercial products due to a sample tracking error, according to the USDA statement. Neither the company nor the USDA has received any reports of illnesses related to consumption of the beef.

E. coli bacteria can cause bloody diarrhea, dehydration and, in severe cases, kidney failure, according to the USDA statement. Babies and toddlers, seniors, and persons with weakened immune systems are the most susceptible to food-borne illnesses, the statement says.

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