updated 8/31/2007 9:13:46 PM ET 2007-09-01T01:13:46

Kroger Co. said Friday the grocery chain was recalling its store-brand “Southern-Style” and “Mustard” potato salads because of concerns they have been tainted with E. coli bacteria, according to state agricultural officials.

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Cincinnati-based Kroger has stores in 31 states, many under different banners. Spokeswoman Meghan Glynn said potato salads sold in Ralphs, Fred Meyer, and QFC stores weren’t affected. Those stores are mainly in western states.

The Ohio Department of Agriculture and Kroger advised consumers not to eat the potato salads if they have a “best if used by” date of Sept. 5. The department tested some of the potato salad during routine food safety sampling, and found it positive for E. coli, which can cause intestinal sickness and other problems.

The department said no illnesses have been reported, and additional samples analyzed by a third-party laboratory used by Kroger tested negative.

Kroger stopped selling the affected potato salads, and will give refunds to anyone returning them to stores, Glynn said. Other types of Kroger potato salad are safe, she said.

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