Beef Packers, Inc., a Fresno meat-packing plant, is recalling almost 900,000 pounds of ground beef products due possible salmonella contamination. The U.S. Department of Agriculture's Food Safety and Inspection Service (FSIS) announced the recall today. You may recall, so to speak, that Beef Packers, Inc. was also the subject of a July 2008 recall (beef cheek products, possible E. coli contamination).

The ground beef was produced between June 5 and June 23, and distributed to retail distribution centers in Arizona, California, Colorado and Utah, according to the USDA news release. The situation was first reported in Colorado, as a result of an investigation into an outbreak of Salmonella Newport, which is resistant to many commonly prescribed drugs.

Because the recalled beef has been repackaged and sold under different retail brand names, consumers should check with their local retailer to determine whether they may have purchased any of the products subject to recall. You also might want to refer to the list in the FDA release, which gives identifying case codes and use dates of the recalled products.

Tips to prevent salmonella: Wash hands and surfaces with soap and hot water for at least 20 seconds; keep raw meat away from other food; cook meat to an internal temperature of 160 degrees (165 for poultry); refrigerate raw food within 1-2 hours after purchase.

Beef Packers Inc.: P.O. Box 12503, Fresno; (559) 268-5586. Consumers with questions about the recall should contact the company's Consumer Line at (877) 872-3635.

LA Weekly