You might want to hold off on firing up the grill this weekend – an Illinois manufacturer has recalled almost 96,000 pounds of ground beef. The meat, which has already been linked to illnesses in Pennsylvania, Ohio, and Illinois, may be contaminated with E. coli O157:H7.
The beef products were produced by Valley Meats of Coal Valley, Illinois, and include various products sold under the following brand names: 3S, Grillmaster, J & B, Klub, Thick N' Savory, and Ultimate. Other affected products were sold with no specific brand name. All items included in the recall were produced on March 10, 2009 and were sold nationwide.
E. coli is a potentially deadly bacterium that can lead to bloody diarrhea, dehydration, and in severe cases, kidney failure. The very young, the elderly, and people with weakened immune systems are most vulnerable to food borne illness. A complete list of the recalled products can be found on the USDA's website.