National Steak and Poultry is voluntarily recalling about 248,000 pounds of beef it said might be contaminated with a strain of E. coli bacteria. The company said the meat could be linked to illnesses in six states.
The Owasso-based company and the U.S. Agriculture Department announced the recall on Thursday. National Steak and Poultry says on its Web site the beef products "could potentially be implicated in an outbreak" of illnesses related to E. coli.
The USDA's Food Safety and Inspection Service became aware of the problem while investigating a cluster of illnesses and determined there is an association between non-intact steaks _ which have been blade tenderized prior to further processing _ and illnesses in Colorado, Iowa, Kansas, Michigan, South Dakota and Washington.
Colorado health officials said one person was sickened there in November but wasn't hospitalized. The E. coli strain is one that has caused large-scale outbreaks of life-threatening illness via contaminated food and water.
The products being recalled include various sizes of the company's "Boneless Beef Sirloin Steak," "Boneless Beef Tips," "Savory Sirloin Tips," "Bacon Wrapped Beef Fillet," "Beef Shoulder Marinated Tender Medallions," "75 percent Boneless Beef Trimmings," "Beef Trimmings" and "Beef Sirloin Philly Steak."
Also being recalled are various sizes of "EGN Boneless Beef Sirloin Steak," "EGN Boneless Beef Sirloin Tri Tip Steak," "KRM Boneless Beef Sirloin Steak," "Carino's Boneless Beef Outside Skirt Steak," "Carino's Boneless Beef Outside Skirt Steak Pieces" and "Moe's Beef Steak."
National Steak and Poultry said the recalled products are in packages bearing a label with the establishment number "EST. 6010T" inside the USDA mark of inspection and packaging dates of "10/12/2009," "10/13/2009," "10/14/2009," or "10/21/2009." The company said the products were shipped to restaurants nationwide.
The company said in a statement that the recalled beef was produced at its Owasso facility. It said the recall is limited to beef products sold primarily to the Moe's, Carino's Italian Grill, and KRM restaurants in the six states.
National Steak and Poultry said the recall is the first in its 30-year history.
"Our company's paramount concern is for the safety and health of consumers," said Tanya Ward, National Steak and Poultry's senior manager of quality assurance.