WASHINGTON — National Steak and Poultry, Owasso, Okla. announced on Dec. 24 a voluntary recall of approximately 248,000 lbs. of beef products that may be contaminated with E. coli O157:H7, said the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s Food Safety and Inspection Service.

F.S.I.S. stated it became aware of the problem during an investigation of recent E. coli O157:H7 illnesses. The agency determined, while working with the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and state health and agriculture departments, there is an association between non-intact steaks (blade-tenderized before further processing) and illnesses in Colorado, Iowa, Kansas, Michigan, South Dakota and Washington. F.S.I.S. is continuing to work with the C.D.C. and affected state public health partners on the investigation.

"Based on epidemiological evidence provided to us by F.S.I.S., some of our products could potentially be implicated in an outbreak," the company stated on its web site. "Therefore, as a precautionary measure, on Dec. 24, 2009, National Steak and Poultry has initiated a voluntary recall.

"We take the safety and wholesomeness of our products very seriously and that’s why we are working with the U.S.D.A. to conduct this recall," the company added. "This is the first recall in our company’s nearly 30-year history. Given our long history of focusing on product safety and our standards of excellence, we will [err] on the side of being cautious with this recall."