Concerns about contamination with a strain of E. coli bacteria have led an Oklahoma-based company to voluntarily recall about 248,000 pounds of beef.
On its Web site, National Steak and Poultry says the beef products "could potentially be implicated in an outbreak" of illnesses related to E. coli, the Associated Press reported. This is the first recall in the firm's 30-year history, it said.
The U.S. Agriculture Department's Food Safety and Inspection Service noticed a link between non-intact steaks and a cluster of illnesses in Colorado, Iowa, Kansas, Michigan, South Dakota and Washington, the AP said. Non-intact steaks include cuts that have been injected with flavoring or tenderized, processes that allow surface bacteria to get inside the beef.
The E. coli strain has caused large-scale outbreaks of potentially deadly illness.