August 9th, 2010
02:47 PM ET

1 million pounds of ground beef recalled

Consumers are being warned to check their freezers for recalled beef that may be contaminated with E. coli. The Modesto California-based meat processor Valley Meat Company is voluntarily recalling approximately one million pounds of ground beef.  The beef may contain a rare strain of the bacterium E. coli O157:H7.

The Valley Meat Company says the ground beef patties and bulk products were  produced between October 2nd, 2009 through January 12th, 2010 and were distributed to retail outlets and institutional foodservice providers in California, Texas, Oregon, Arizona and overseas.  A list of retailers has not yet been released, but a complete list of products has been published on the company's website.

So far seven people are believed to have been sickened between February and June according to a USDA press release.  Consumers are urged to throw away any of this beef, if they still have it in their freezers.

E. coli can cause serious illness including death in the most severe cases.  Consumers can avoid getting sick if they properly cook their meat to at least 160° F, which kills the bacteria.

soundoff (363 Responses)
  1. Wade N Ginger N Eastman Georgia

    BOEEE...DATS ALOT OF COWS...My question is How on Earth would a million pounds get contaminated before it was caught? Seems to me like some bodies!!! Wasn't doing their JOBS??Wouldn't ya think??

    August 9, 2010 at 21:07 | Report abuse | Reply
  2. jantje

    after scanning over the comments here, i have one of my own. food contamination can occur not only in meat but also in vegetables. if you really want to be safe ..... don't eat meat, and clean ALL your fruits and veggies before eating them. soak leafy greens in a peroxide solution before cooking or eating them. use a standard, food grade, 3% solution, diluted in lots of water, and soak your leafy greens in that for a couple minutes, then rinse well. other fruits and veggies can be cleansed by spraying them with a solution of a few drops of grapefruit seed extract in a quart of water, letting that sit on the skin for at least 3 minutes, then scrubbing the skins with a soft brush under running water.

    August 9, 2010 at 21:17 | Report abuse | Reply
  3. Vegetarians are fat

    Almost every vegetarian I know is grossly overweight due to all the pasta and cheese they shove down their throats.

    August 9, 2010 at 21:26 | Report abuse | Reply
    • Steven

      That's why you go vegan. There really is no such thing as a "vegetarian" I lost 35 pounds when i quit eating animals and their byproducts...

      August 9, 2010 at 21:30 | Report abuse |
    • me

      I'm 115 pounds. We taste better too. booyah!

      August 9, 2010 at 21:47 | Report abuse |
  4. YUCK! & DUH!

    I lived in Modesto for a year. The absolute filth these poor agribusiness cattle are forced to live in before they are knocked off is both amazing and absolutely sickening. They stand and lie on several feet of poo piled up and the odor from it would sometimes drift into town. It's also what causes Valley Fever, all the powdered poo floating on the breeze as well as toxic chemicals from crop dusting. I would stay indoors when the air had the poo smell for self protection. That's also why agribusiness meat is loaded with antibiotics. Since the skin is a digestive organ, these same animals are both breathing and digesting poo from having to lie in it. That's why it's best to get organic grass fed beef or free ranging chicken if at all possible, but not everyone can afford it of course.

    "WOW", I feel bad for the cow! < I GUESS I WILL JUST EAT CHICKIN!!!

    August 9, 2010 at 21:27 | Report abuse | Reply
    • MrsFizzy

      Uhh,...Chickin?? I hate to break it to you.... 😉
      You're 100% right, it's obscene the abuse and waste of animals! If meat was just that little bit more expensive to finance proper treatment of them at least it would actually be better for people to eat a little less but better quality. That's how it used to be not so many decades ago. And you didn't mention the treatment with hormones to get more yield with lower quality feed. . And then you see articles that US girls are entering puberty earlier.. hmm. There's a reason European countries are tough on US beef imports, people.

      August 10, 2010 at 01:07 | Report abuse |
  5. Sandy

    another reason that I raise my own grass-fed beef.........

    August 9, 2010 at 21:30 | Report abuse | Reply
  6. LOL!

    What happens when the powdered poo drifts through a raincloud?


    August 9, 2010 at 21:31 | Report abuse | Reply
  7. chieatfetus

    These companies need to be more careful (responsible & accountable) for keeping the meat clean & uncontaminated-what a f**king waste-all those poor cows died for nothing.

    August 9, 2010 at 21:35 | Report abuse | Reply
  8. John Philadell

    Actually the list is here... http://www.valleymeat.com/our-team/recall-information/

    August 9, 2010 at 21:44 | Report abuse | Reply
  9. d

    What do ya think folks....USDA and FDA reall out looking for us .....again.....at the rate the "watching out for us" we all should be dead in less than 5 years....

    August 9, 2010 at 22:06 | Report abuse | Reply
  10. Shawn

    Buy LOCAL and KNOW YOUR ORGANIC FARMER!!!! Say NO NO NO and NO to feed lots and corp Farms.... Grass feed small Organic farms are the answer we have been eating healthy and E-Coli free for over 20 years......You will all learn in time...


    August 9, 2010 at 22:13 | Report abuse | Reply
  11. Bill M

    The illegals were picking veggies and would take a crap in the middle of the field, Lots of recalled veggies. now they have portapottys around the fields so they stop crappin on the crops. atleast someof them will walk to the portapotty now I hope.

    A study in Europe look at 100 Alzhimer patients Brains after they had died, 37 percent acutally had mad cow disease.

    August 9, 2010 at 22:14 | Report abuse | Reply
  12. happyvegan

    see the problem with meat is that when you dont cook it it exposes you to a whole world of parasites and microbes, when you cook it, a lot of its nutritional content is destroyed plus a lot of chemicals are produced that are bad for you.
    My biggest problem is that a million pounds of food produced in december and january is recalled in august. Lets clear our minds and think about that for a moment. Actually you should write that on a piece of paper and look at it few hours later.
    what does it take for this generation to question the greedy rich people?
    Corrupting our food in every imaginable way and then some unimaginable.

    August 9, 2010 at 22:29 | Report abuse | Reply
    • I agree

      You are right.

      August 9, 2010 at 23:31 | Report abuse |
  13. Richard

    I used to raise my own grass fed beef. I saw first hand the good color of the meat and fat on the carcass, when compared to that at the local slaughterhouse with lot fed beef going to market. The carcasses going to the public had ugly, yellow fat and even had tumors, but it was going into the food chain.

    August 9, 2010 at 22:33 | Report abuse | Reply
    • Richard

      I've never eaten store bought meat since unless it's marked as grass fed or free range. Preferably I find a local rancher and just buy a side from him and have it custom cut. It's much cheaper and you can even meet the animal while it's still on the hoof if you want.

      August 9, 2010 at 22:37 | Report abuse |
    • Richard

      And vegans don't escape since e.Coli is on the vegetables too. Only organic food is guaranteed clean. Let's face it, factory food is a gamble for our health.

      August 9, 2010 at 22:39 | Report abuse |
    • MrsFizzy

      I try and eat Organic, especially meat. But "guaranteed clean"? That depends what you mean, clean in what way? I'm afraid organic veg and meats can still be contaminated microbiologically regardless of how it is grown.

      August 10, 2010 at 01:01 | Report abuse |
  14. Chris

    Come on. Where are all the Bush bashers? Isn't this a direct result of some Bush policy?

    August 9, 2010 at 22:44 | Report abuse | Reply
    • Bush Lover

      Bush is the finest example of what mad cow disease can do. He had no policies. Those all belonged to Cheney, Rove and Rumsfeld.

      August 9, 2010 at 23:03 | Report abuse |
  15. Bush Hater

    As little intelligence as Bush had, it's Sarah Palin that worries me. The pendulum always swings in politics and America is bound to elect an even bigger dimwit. With Sarah Palin as President, e Coli will be the least of our worries!

    August 9, 2010 at 23:07 | Report abuse | Reply
    • MrsFizzy

      Well at least that puts things in perspective! 🙂

      August 10, 2010 at 00:59 | Report abuse |
  16. Jaime

    Some of you are right and some of you not so much. Everyone needs to go watch both Food, Inc. and King Corn, documentaries on our food is grown and processed. Then we all need to join forces and get angry enough to force our government to make drastic changes to how our meats, produce and processed foods are grown and processed! It is time to get mad at the right people and make some real healthcare policy changes!

    August 9, 2010 at 23:17 | Report abuse | Reply
    • Elizabeth

      You've got that right. We need to be more mindful of where our food is coming from and the amount of resources used to create it and get it into our homes.

      August 10, 2010 at 00:28 | Report abuse |
  17. pam

    Maybe God wanted us to eat meat-don't need it to survive, by the way-however, he doesn't appreciate the way his creatures are being treated. Karma is a factory cow! Just revenge by the cows who have to suffer.....cows 1, humans 0

    August 9, 2010 at 23:22 | Report abuse | Reply
    • Dave

      I'd say we've got the advantage. Humans 17000000000, Cows 3-4000.

      August 9, 2010 at 23:40 | Report abuse |
  18. Brian

    "Just cook it! No need to avoid meat. Just cook it completely. "

    Yes, cook that sheet before you eat it. American meat is full of sheet and consumers are so dumb they don't know they are eating sheet.

    August 9, 2010 at 23:51 | Report abuse | Reply
  19. hoola

    Watch Food Inc.

    Changed my life.

    August 10, 2010 at 00:04 | Report abuse | Reply
  20. Brittney

    I agree with Jaime... Watch Food Inc. The way meat is handled in particular is nasty. Farmer's Markets are the way to go.

    August 10, 2010 at 00:10 | Report abuse | Reply
    • brer

      Farmers markets are just as safe and sane and mega-farms. just on a smaller scale. You ever see one of their employees come back from a port-a-pottie and wash their hands? I've seen this NOT happen on too many occaisions and wouldn't trust my family's health and life in dealing with Farmers Markets. YECHHHH

      August 10, 2010 at 00:40 | Report abuse |
    • MrsFizzy

      Brer I guess I wouldn't really want to buy something from someone I'd just seen come from the toilet & then handle food wo washing hands... but just washing is most likely to protect you rather than swear off farmer's markets altogether just because you don't know how clean they are. In this country at least you can't really trust what you buy from a supermarket is going to be safer. Unless you like your veg sprayed with chlorine-water and even that doesn't always work.

      August 10, 2010 at 00:57 | Report abuse |
  21. jayman419

    How about we, as a nation, take one day off from the wholesale slaughter to, like, wash everything. It's not like e. coli is some intergalactic super villain. We figured out how germs work a long, long time ago right? Stop the hormone treatments, stop letting "downers" into our food supply, stop keeping cattle in cages standing around in their own feces their whole lives.

    And while we're at it, maybe put some port-a-johns near the fields so farm workers have somewhere else to poop and we can eat veggies again.

    August 10, 2010 at 00:15 | Report abuse | Reply
    • brer

      yeah and like get real, the mega-farm industries/conglomerates would like to sacrifice their profits for out safety? Sure, that's gonna happen anytime soon. wishful thinking. dream on and continued happy dreams. please share the Prosac with the rest of us. 😉

      August 10, 2010 at 00:37 | Report abuse |
  22. Elizabeth

    Man, I really hope there's someone trolling under multiple names. If not, the amount of idiots here is mind-boggling.

    August 10, 2010 at 00:22 | Report abuse | Reply
    • MrsFizzy

      Usually the way...

      August 10, 2010 at 00:53 | Report abuse |
  23. Cathy Kayser

    Why bother to recall meat? It's all crap and people keep eating it anyway. The government should stop wasting money – let the buyer beware! Don't want to get sick? Don't eat animal products. It's that simple.

    August 10, 2010 at 00:26 | Report abuse | Reply
    • brer

      Don't want to get sick? don't read crap from uninformed people. don't eat food you don't grow yourself.

      August 10, 2010 at 00:33 | Report abuse |
  24. Adam

    What a waste. A million pounds of meat being recalled because SEVEN people got sick over five months? The beef "may" contain a rare strain of bacteria. And for all those people shouting about how they waited forever to recall it, its because hardly anyone got sick. Do you all think its easy to trace food born pathogens when there are only seven cases spread over multiple states over five months?

    August 10, 2010 at 00:42 | Report abuse | Reply
    • Are you sure?

      You mean you are saying that it doesn't matter if a few people die? What if it was your mother? How would you feel about it then?

      August 10, 2010 at 00:47 | Report abuse |
    • Adam

      Also, instead of becoming a veg or only not eating "food you dont grow yourself" (HAHAHAHA), we could just properly wash and cook our food. Seems easier than convincing 350 million americans to change their diets or own farms.

      August 10, 2010 at 00:48 | Report abuse |
    • Adam

      No one died. So no imaginary senarios are neccesary.

      August 10, 2010 at 01:00 | Report abuse |
  25. MrsFizzy

    Just what I was about to say, Adam. Whatever your views on eating meat, it's obscene the way we subject animals to "life" in factory farms, then just waste their meat through shoddy hygiene at slaughter and butchering! (and possibly sickening or killing other humans along the way...).

    August 10, 2010 at 00:52 | Report abuse | Reply
    • Adam

      Actually, I got sick from veggies once. Im out. No more veggies. Also, just to be safe, I'm calling it quits on fruits (think tomato scare) and meat (see above) too. I better not forget water borne illness either. Done with that too. Whew, thank god I didnt read this, panic, and overreact.

      August 10, 2010 at 01:08 | Report abuse |
  26. Epidi

    In some furry & feathered circles, WE are considered food. Humans not recognizing that we ourselves are animals too makes me chuckle every time. Organic farming practices is still best in my book wether carnivore, herbivore, or omnivore.

    August 10, 2010 at 01:33 | Report abuse | Reply
  27. tom


    August 10, 2010 at 01:46 | Report abuse | Reply
  28. Plantiful

    E. coli O157:H7 is largely thought to come from corn-fed cattle on feed-lots. Avoid participating in these 1,000,000-pound recalls, and buy your fruits, vegetables, and meat from local farmers: www[dot]localharvest[dot]org. You deal with them directly and can talk with the actual farmer. The food is better grown, better raised, and healthier. You local farmer is not likely to be feeding cloned cattle genetically modified corn, for which they need antibiotics, with a bolus of growth hormone for good measure. Is that dinner?

    Organic produce is still non-genetically modified. Look for PLU codes with five numbers, starting with a '9'. PLU codes that start with an '8' and have five numbers are genetically-modified.

    August 10, 2010 at 02:08 | Report abuse | Reply
  29. Organic4life

    i dont have to eat 100% organic, but i do it as my way of saying no to food corruption. Organic fruits and vegetables only period. Its a bit more expensive (like 10%) but i cut cost on other things like the wonderful cable lol.
    Even if the people involved have good intentions at heart, think about the door factory food opens. The genetic altering alone will produce a lot more horror in the near future if not regulated by totally independent people.

    August 10, 2010 at 02:54 | Report abuse | Reply
  30. Belunan

    'voluntary recall' is crap. Because of the political lobbyists, the government does not have the legal power to force a beef recall. ALL beef recalls are voluntary.

    August 10, 2010 at 03:27 | Report abuse | Reply
  31. VegasRage

    A whole lot of cows died for nothing there

    August 10, 2010 at 03:45 | Report abuse | Reply
  32. truth

    the real problem resolves around the system in which we live. When was the food really known to be contaminated? I'm sure it was months ago. The FDA always prolongs recalls. I love meat, it's delicious, but the FDA has systematically prolonged the delay of food recalls (mainly because the FDA regulators are "in bed" with the 4 major food companies). It's about time that us omnivores/carnivores stand up for ourselves. If we want to eat meat, we should demand that it isn't riddled with feces and other contaminants. If you continue to live your lifestyle in the current fashion, then please beware that you may be introducing toxins into your body that may take years to digest. Kepp a healthy regiment of fruits and vegintables, and add a "real" hamburger now and then (although you haven't had one in years) to this list, because loose meats and vegitbals "really" fall by the wayside.

    August 10, 2010 at 04:03 | Report abuse | Reply
  33. Justin


    August 10, 2010 at 04:22 | Report abuse | Reply
  34. Justin


    August 10, 2010 at 04:23 | Report abuse | Reply
  35. Aurora

    Actually, Justin... we're natural OMNIVORES. But thanks for playing.

    August 10, 2010 at 04:54 | Report abuse | Reply
  36. The Point

    It's not about carnivores vs vegans, obviously we are omnivores. The point is it's about buying food from your neighbor or the factory farm. Your neighbor has a vested interest in keeping you alive and healthy, but the factory is only out for profit.

    August 10, 2010 at 07:29 | Report abuse | Reply
  37. Joe

    Try reading the last part of the article. If you cook your burgers properly, you won't get e-coli. I work at a grocery store meat department so I've had an education about e-coli. It is a surface bacteria, which is why it is most often "found" in ground beef. The bacteria could be on a steak, but only on the outside, which comes into direct contact with the heat source. People who don't properly cook their burgers have a chance of getting sick. If you're concerned, either cook your burgers properly, buy irradiated ground beef, or buy local. I'm not here to defend the practices of the huge meat corporations, since I see first hand the "quality" of some of their products, but people need to understand that they can protect themselves as well.

    August 10, 2010 at 08:02 | Report abuse | Reply
  38. sweetgeorgia

    See that is why i will not buy my meat at the big stores like wally world. I only buy my meat from a local Butcher who grinds all the beef there in his store. never had a proble!

    August 10, 2010 at 08:29 | Report abuse | Reply
  39. cow eater

    So let me get this straight. It was sold between Oct 09 and Jan '10 and NOBODY got sick until Feb 10 and June 10. How long do you think you can keep it before it makes you sick? Why blame the producer for somehthing that can be killed if cooked properly? THese people who got sick I feel for them but when will someone take responsibility for their OWN actions and STOP blaming everyone else? This is ----- (you fill in the blank)

    August 10, 2010 at 08:34 | Report abuse | Reply
  40. DAVID

    i not going to worrie about the meat yes i eat meat and love it i plant my own garden every year i am 57 i have used animal manure in my garden every year and will always use it you know one better than a hambuger is 2 hamburgers and i have raised cows chickens and pigs so if people dont like meat all i can say is go hungry

    August 10, 2010 at 08:40 | Report abuse | Reply
  41. JR

    If you are eating beef dated OCTOBER 2009, e.coli isn't going to be your only problem. LOL

    Okay, the hoarders amongst us, please check your deep freeze and toss it. Don't buy your meat from a dollar store. Everyone else should be in the clear at this point.


    August 10, 2010 at 08:47 | Report abuse | Reply
  42. Iamkingdnell

    So how do we throw it away if we don't know what stores sold it?

    August 10, 2010 at 08:55 | Report abuse | Reply
  43. magooo

    Regarding the picture in the story: please give the burger the full slice of cheese it deserves. Who does that?!

    August 10, 2010 at 09:01 | Report abuse | Reply
  44. Btip

    To all the geniuses quoting the line, "If god didn't want us eating animals...he wouldn't have made them out of meat," I am pretty sure humans are made of meat, so go eat a baby... There is your line of logic...

    August 10, 2010 at 09:01 | Report abuse | Reply
  45. Fallowt

    Dammit what a waste. I'll take 300 pounds of that meat right now. I'll even sign a disclaimer that I know it may have bacteria. Just cook the living christ out of it and enjoy! You want order steak half-raw, be my guest. Hamburger is a different story.

    August 10, 2010 at 09:05 | Report abuse | Reply
  46. Fallowt

    Humans are genetically similar to pigs. We can use parts form pigs in our own bodies (Arnold Scwarzenegger has a pig's heart valve, for example). Does that mean that we would taste like pork? Perhaps we are the other, other, white meat. I suppose we could check with Jeffrey Dahmer, but he's dead. Just curious....

    August 10, 2010 at 09:20 | Report abuse | Reply
  47. GlacierGuy

    I think that when food recalls like this happen, we consumers should get our money back! Maybe, just maybe when the food industries have to keep giving money back, they'll start to pay closer attention to their facilities! This is getting really old....the USDA and our lovely FDA are doing a bang-up job protecting all of us aren't they......

    August 10, 2010 at 09:28 | Report abuse | Reply
  48. Tammy

    what am I gonna do now? I eats me some ground beefs everyday with my fat azz...but one guy wants to hit it so bad. I should give him some.

    August 10, 2010 at 09:34 | Report abuse | Reply
  49. jim

    Get a grip, people! We're talking about (possibly) SEVEN people getting sick! Probably more people than that die every year from ingrown toenails!

    August 10, 2010 at 10:20 | Report abuse | Reply
  50. Fallowt

    I usually grind my own about every 6 weeks and get a freezer full. Over time, the grinder pays for itself. Market ground beef here in South Florida is hard to find for less than $3 a pound, and that's at the wholesale club. I buy huge, cheap cuts like shoulder muscle and knuckle (cove) and grind that for about $2.50 a pound. It's far leaner too. Probably too lean for good hamburger patties, but you get more meat for your money and can use it in recipes. What really P's me off is the price of any steak and any hand-cut pieces like "beef for stew". I also buy huge boneless rib cuts for about $100 and cut my own steaks. I can get about 20 or more thick ribeye steaks out of that for a huge savings over the grocery's meat department prices. I learned how watching youtube. It's easy, try it.

    August 10, 2010 at 10:58 | Report abuse | Reply
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