Aug. 7, 2009 08:20 PM
VISALIA, Calif. - Health officials in three Western states said Friday at least 28 people have reported illnesses tied to recalled ground beef that may be tainted with salmonella.
On Thursday, Fresno-based Beef Packers Inc. recalled nearly 826,000 pounds of ground beef produced from June 5-23.
The U.S. Department of Agriculture's Food Safety and Inspection Service says the beef was sent to retail distribution centers in Arizona, California, Colorado and Utah, with some sold at Safeway Inc. and Sam's Club.
Friday, the department confirmed that California, Colorado and Wyoming have reported illness linked to the recalled beef.
Colorado health officials said 21 people there have been sickened, and all are recovering. California officials said five people have reported feeling sick.
Wyoming health officials reported that two people have fallen ill.
Officials are investigating other reported illnesses in Arizona, Idaho, Illinois, Nebraska, New Mexico, Nevada, South Dakota and Texas that may be linked to the same strain of salmonella, the USDA said.
Federal officials do not yet know if those cases are associated with the beef recalled Thursday.
Because the beef was repackaged under different retail names, USDA recommends consumers check with the store where they purchased the beef to determine whether what they bought has been recalled.
Salmonella can result in abdominal cramps, diarrhea and fever. Most people recover without treatment, but some require hospitalization. In rare cases the organism can get into the blood and produce more severe illnesses.