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Kroger said yesterday that it is recalling all ground beef sold by its stores in Michigan and central/northern Ohio between May 21 and June 8, saying that federal regulators have established a link between some beef products sold by the company and E. coli illnesses reported during that time period.

Business First of Columbus reports that the Ohio departments of health and agriculture used genetic fingerprinting to link an E. coli-tainted beef sample traced back to Kroger “to the outbreak that has investigators looking into 19 cases statewide that have been linked genetically to cases in Michigan. In Central Ohio, there are 15 confirmed E. coli cases and two probable cases.”

Kroger said it is asking customers to check their freezers for ground beef products - regardless of packaging - with sell-by dates of May 21 through June 8 and return them to stores for a full refund or replacement. And, the company said it is working with local, state and federal health authorities to identify the supplier of the specific type of ground beef that may have caused the illnesses.

KC's View:
“Why” and “how” will be extremely important here, but it seems to me that in some ways the biggest concern is the fact there is yet another headline questioning the safety of products in which people thought they could have confidence.