Regulators have issued a public health alert for about 14,800 pounds of missing ground beef products that may be contaminated with the potentially deadly E. coli bacteria, the Department of Agriculture said on Thursday.
The alert came after a trailer containing the ground beef was reported stolen by Texas American Food Service Corporation, the USDA said in a statement.
The firm, based in Fort Worth, Texas, does business as American Fresh Foods. A company spokesman could not be immediately reached for comment.
Symptoms of E. coli 0157:H7 illness, the strain associated with the alert, include potentially severe stomach cramps, diarrhea and dehydration. Children, the elderly and people with poor immune systems are most vulnerable.
The USDA’s public health alert covers ground beef products packaged for consumer use carrying the establishment number ”EST. 13116” on the package labels. Bulk products carry labels bearing the establishment number “EST. 13116.”
The ground beef was produced on December 19.