Merkley & Sons Packing Co. of Jasper, Ind., recalls 1-pound and 5-pound packages of “Ground Beef, 80% Lean” because of possible E. coli contamination.

Recalled products bear a “Merkley & Sons” label. The voluntary recall is limited to products sold at specific retail locations between June 7 and June 24.

On Facebook, the Jasper company issued the following statement

Food safety and quality are our number one priority. Providing our customers with safe, wholesome, and quality products is a responsibility we take very seriously. We feed our families the very same product we provide to your families. We remain committed to providing timely communication and transparency to all of our customers.

Daily, we work closely with the personnel of the Indiana State Board of Animal Health and USDA-FSIS (Food Safety and Inspection Service) to adhere to their advice, direction, and guidelines, including routine product testing and appropriate precautionary measures as a result of product testing. After careful product tracing and in an abundance of caution, we have decided to inform all customers and issue a voluntary recall of 1 lb and 5 lb. packages of our “Ground Beef, 80% Lean” sold in retail locations from June 7 to June 24. This notice and voluntary recall are specific to our “Ground Beef, 80% Lean” and DOES NOT include “Premium Ground Beef, 90% Lean”, beef patties, or any of our other products. We have confirmed other products have been properly isolated from the impacted product, including “Ground Beef, 80% Lean,” sold Friday, June 25, and Saturday, June 26.

This decision results from routine sampling of the production 60- 1 lb. packages of 80% lean fresh ground beef. Test results indicated possible E. coli contamination. All packages from the production on this date were isolated and never made available for sale. In an abundance of caution, as we were not able to absolutely confirm isolation of risk to the 60-1 lb. packages produced on this date, we have voluntarily expanded the recall to include all “Ground Beef, 80% Lean” products sold June 7 to June 24 which could be linked to the tested product. We have notified our wholesale and restaurant customers to remove the affected product from commerce.

For your safety, we remind you to always properly handle and cook all meat products to reduce the risk of illness. Preparing ground beef per package directions includes properly washing your hands and cooking product thoroughly to 160 °F. The only way to confirm that ground beef is cooked to a temperature high enough to kill harmful bacteria is to use a food thermometer that measures internal temperature.

For your safety, we remind you to always properly handle and cook all meat products to reduce the risk of illness. Preparing ground beef per package directions includes properly washing your hands and cooking product thoroughly to 160 °F. The only way to confirm that ground beef is cooked to a temperature high enough to kill harmful bacteria is to use a food thermometer that measures internal temperature.

There have been no reports of illnesses associated with the consumption of this product. Anyone with signs or symptoms of foodborne illness should consult a medical professional.

Customers who have purchased “Ground Beef, 80% Lean” between June 7 and June 24 in 1 lb. or 5 lb. packages may return the product to our retail location for a full refund or exchange. For any questions, please call 812-482-7020.

The “Ground Beef, 80% Lean” was sold in the following retail outlets between June 7 and June 24, 2021:

Big Peach Produce Stand; Bruceville, IN
Birdseye Conservation Club; Birdseye, IN
Buck’s Produce; Marengo, IN
Discount Grocery; Loogootee, IN
Dutch Pantry; Vincennes, IN
Fast Eddies; French Lick, IN
IGA; Loogootee, IN
Jay C; Washington, IN
Kalb’s; Dubois, IN
Merkley and Sons Packing Company retail store; Jasper, IN
Nicholson Valley Grocery; Dubois, IN
Shepherds Loft; Montgomery, IN
Spud Food Mart; Jasper, IN
Sunny’s Celestine; Celestine, IN
Consumers who possess recalled products should not consume them. To receive a refund or exchange, return the unused portions to the retail location. Consumers should also check their freezers for unused portions.

No illness has been associated with these products. Consumers are reminded to use safe handling and cooking practices for all uncooked meat.

Wholesale and restaurant locations that received affected products have been notified. No other Merkley & Sons products are part of this recall.

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