WASHINGTON – Valley Meat Company, Modesto, Calif., is recalling (Class I Recall-Health Risk High) approximately 1 million lbs. of frozen ground-beef patties and bulk ground-beef products that may be contaminated with E. coliO157:H7, the U.S. Department of Agriculture's Food Safety and Inspection Service (F.S.I.S.) announced on Aug. 6.

On July 15, F.S.I.S. became aware of the problem when the agency was notified by the California Department of Public Health (C.D.P.H.) of a smallE. coliO157:H7 cluster of illnesses with a rare strain as determined by P.F.G.E. sub-typing. Six patients with illness onset dates between April 8 and June 18 were reported at that time. After further review, C.D.P.H. added another patient from February to the case count, bringing the count to seven. F.S.I.S. is continuing to work with the C.D.P.H. and the company.

Products subject to recall bear the establishment number "EST. 8268" inside the U.S.D.A. mark of inspection, as well as a production code of 25709 through 01210. These products were produced between Oct. 2, 2009 through Jan. 12, 2010, and were distributed to retail outlets and institutional foodservice providers in California, Texas, Oregon, Arizona and internationally. When available, the retail distribution list(s) will be posted on F.S.I.S.' Website at http://www.fsis.usda.gov/FSIS_Recalls/Open_Federal_Cases/index.asp.

Concerns exist that some product may still be frozen and in consumers' freezers. F.S.I.S. strongly encourages consumers to check their freezers and immediately discard any product that is the subject of this recall.