WinCo Foods, a supermarket chain with locations throughout the western United States, has issued a recall on ground beef purchased from its stores over 13 days in late March and early April.
The recall, announced Saturday, comes after two samples of ground beef from WinCo's Modesto, California, store tested positive for E. coli 0157:H7, a bacteria strain in the E. coli family that can cause severe food poisoning.
No illnesses have been confirmed in connection with the recall, according to WinCo. But E. coli 0157:H7 causes abdominal cramping, vomiting and diarrheal illness, often with bloody stools, the company said.
"People with severe infections may be hospitalized, suffer kidney damage and possibly die" from the bacteria, California Department of Public Health Director Mark Horton said in a statement Sunday. "Those most at risk for serious complications include young children, the elderly and those with compromised immune systems."
The recall applies to fresh ground beef from WinCo Foods stores packed in plastic foam trays with a sale date between March 28 and April 9, WinCo said. Customers should return the beef for a refund or discard it, the company said.
WinCo had announced a ground beef recall for its Modesto store on April 10. Since then, "new information has come to light that potentially implicates WinCo's ground beef suppliers," which expanded the recall to all WinCo stores, the company said in a statement Saturday.
WinCo said that the recall is voluntary, though it said it's acting on the advice of the California Department of Public Health and in accordance with an ongoing investigation by the U.S. Department of Agriculture.
The discount grocery store chain has 71 locations throughout California, Idaho, Nevada, Oregon, Utah and Washington.