The USDA has announced a recall of ground beef products from the Canadian company XL Foods Inc which are suspected to be contaminated with E. coli. The public health alert on raw boneless beef trim products was issued in cooperation with the USDA Food Safety Information Service on products imported from the Canadian based company.

Safeway has voluntarily recalled a number of beef items (ground beef) sold in Washington, Oregon and Montana which were said to be distributed by Interstate Meat Distributors. The recalled products have sell by dates of 9-7-2012 to 9-23-2012. Most of the meat products are packaged on black Styrofoam trays.

In Canada, the Canadian Food Inspection Agency (CFIA) continued to expand its recall of ground beef products suspected of E. coli contamination. The wide sweeping recall affects the boneless beef products sold from the 24th August to 16th September. The agency says that it is placing a warning on all beef labeled or unlabelled, branded or unbranded ground beef products. It says that also at risk are ground beef products sold in retail stores, local meat markets and butcher shops. Also falling under this recall are products that have the ground beef used in them such as sausages, meat loaf, burgers and meat balls. The CFIA is working to identify and verify the affected products.

The strain of the E. coli is E.coliO157:H7 is a deadly bacterium that can cause dehydration, bloody diarrhea and abdominal pain. The food may not smell or look contaminated.

There have been no reported illnesses so far. Customers are asked to check all ground beef in their refrigerators. Safeway has advised customers to throw out the beef products if they had purchased it.