OMAHA, Neb. – The U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) said Monday that Nebraska Beef Ltd. has responded slowly to indications that its products might be contaminated with E. coli, even though it has recalled 5.3 million pounds of beef.

USDA spokeswoman Amanda Eamich reportedly said that Nebraska Beef was notified that two samples of its beef trim had tested positive for E. coli in early June. The company’s products were later linked to an E. coli outbreak that sickened 41 people in Michigan and Ohio.

"The establishment didn't take appropriate actions when positives were found," Eamich said. "It's all about their ability to control E. coli 0157:H7."

Nebraska Beef spokesman Bill Lamson said that the company has added another lactic acid bath, which helps kill bacteria, to its Omaha plant and has hired an outside lab to test its products.

The recalled beef was sold to wholesalers and distributors for further processing.


Source: Associated Press