WASHINGTON (Reuters) - The U.S. Agriculture Department on Monday said consumers play a major role in avoiding any of the 21.7 million pounds of ground beef, at risk for the E. coli bacteria, flagged in the fifth-largest meat recall in U.S. history.
The recall by Topps Meat Company LLC has generated reports of 27 illnesses suspected to be linked to the recalled meat, USDA said, but just three have been confirmed.
The department suspended the raw processed meat operations of Topps on September 26 after an initial recall of 331,582 pounds of frozen ground beef products.
"This is frozen product" and could still be in home freezers, said Richard Raymond, the Agriculture Department's undersecretary for food safety. He added that "consumers have a big role" in getting the meat out of circulation.
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