Smith’s store responds to recall

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By The Staff

Employees at the Smith’s Food and Drug Store in Los Alamos were prepared for questions from the public Wednesday about the expanded recall of a suspected beef item.

They said customers had asked about the situation and that the store had readily accepted returns of about 20 pounds of meat.

In response to a customer’s question, a checker stopped the line and guided the questioner to the meat department. The meat manager readily shared his information, standing under posted recall notices from the company’s headquarters in Salt Lake City.

On Tuesday, Smith’s revised an initial recall to include packages weighing two pounds or more of store-brand labeled beef grind 85/15 with sell-by dates of April 27, 2009, to June 1, 2009, because the beef was supplied by JBS Swift Beef Co., which has been identified as the apparent source of products that may be contaminated with a strain of E. coli bacteria.

JBS Swift Beef Co. recalled 41,000 pounds of beef on June 24, but that was expanded to 380,000 pounds four days later.

Although Smith’s was not aware of any illnesses at the time of the expanded recall, the Associated Press Wednesday reported that at least 12 people had been hospitalized by sickness related to the suspect beef.

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