WASHINGTON – An undetermined amount of fresh ground-beef products that may be contaminated with a strain of Salmonella Typhimurium is being recalled by Hannaford, the Scarborough, Maine-based grocery chain, the Food Safety and Inspection Service announced.

FSIS said this recall was launched because of concerns about illnesses caused by an outbreak of salmonellosis that may be associated with use and consumption of fresh, in-store ground beef prepared in and purchased at Hannaford stores. The PFGE pattern associated with this outbreak is rarely reported in the US.

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention have reported 14 sick people with an indistinguishable PFGE pattern, and 11 of those individuals reported consuming ground beef. Seven were hospitalized and no deaths have been reported. Ten of the 14 case-patients reported buying ground beef at Hannaford stores in Maine, New York, New Hampshire and Vermont between Oct. 12 and Nov. 20. No other product description is available at this time.

FSIS, working with the CDC and its state health partners, determined as a result of on-going epidemiologic and traceback investigations, plus in-store reviews, there is a link between the Hannaford ground beef products and this illness outbreak. FSIS is working with CDC, public health partners in the affected states and the company on the investigation. FSIS will continue to provide information as it becomes available.

The agency added that after examining Hannaford's limited records, FSIS could not determine responsible suppliers. FSIS said it recently identified this problem at the retail level and is pursuing rulemaking to address the concern.

Products being recalled are any size package of the following: 73 percent Hannaford Regular Ground Beef, 75 percent Hannaford Regular Ground Beef, 80 percent Hannaford Regular Ground Beef, 85 percent Hannaford Regular Ground Beef, 90 percent Hannaford Regular Ground Beef, 80 percent Taste of Inspirations Angus Ground Beef, 85 percent Taste of Inspirations Angus Ground Beef, 90 percent Taste of Inspirations Angus Ground Beef, 85 percent Nature's Place Ground Beef and 90 percent Nature's Place Ground Beef.

Various ground beef packages bear sell-by dates of Dec. 17, 2011, or earlier and were sold at Hannaford stores throughout Maine, Massachusetts, New Hampshire, New York and Vermont. FSIS and the company are concerned that some product may be frozen and in consumers' freezers.

The outbreak strain of Salmonella Typhimurium has initially tested resistant to multiple commonly prescribed antibiotics, including drug classes, such as beta-lactams, aminoglycosides, and cephalosporins. Additional information on drug resistance will be made public as it becomes available.