February 26, 2004



US Recalls Beef Shipped To Japan On Suspected E.Coli


A US California company, Richwood Meat Co., has recalled about 40,000 tons of frozen ground beef and beef patties, including those shipped to U.S. military bases in Japan, on suspected contamination of the E. coli bacteria, U.S. Agriculture Department officials said Wednesday.


Richwood Meat's beef products were distributed to U.S. military installations in the Far East and to retail stores and institutions in the states of California, Washington, Oregon and Idaho, the officials said.


The California company began the recall as testing conducted by a laboratory in Japan determined the presence of the potentially deadly O157H7 strain of E. coli bacteria, they said.


Earlier in the day in Japan, the Okinawa prefectural government's pharmaceutical and health division announced the bacteria was detected after a 14-year-old girl and her 8-year-old brother, who ate frozen hamburgers sold at a U.S. military base, suffered bloody diarrhea and stomachache.

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