Today, Randolph Packing Co. Inc., an Asheboro, N.C. establishment, recalled approximately 96,000 pounds of beef products due to potential E. coli O157:H7 contamination.  It is not known yet, publicly at least, whether the recall is due to recognition of an outbreak of illnesses or to positive beef samples detected in USDA or company tests.  Whatever the case, the Randolph Packing beef E. coli recall brings the total amount of beef recalled in the last four months to 5,768,000 pounds. 

The running tally thus far:

On February 12, 2010, Huntington Meat Packing, Inc., expanded its January 18, 2010 beef recall to include approximately 4.9 million pounds of beef and veal products that it produced in 2009 and the first few days of this year.

On February 4, West MissourI Beef, LLC, a Rockville, Missouri beef company, recalled 14,000 pounds of boneless beef products due to potential E. coli O157:H7 contamination.

On January 11, 2010, Adams Farm Slaughterhouse, LLC., an Athol, Mass., stablishment, recalled approximately 2,574 pounds of beef products due to potential E. coli O157:H7 contamination. The recall occurred in the wake of an epidemiological investigation into the E. coli illness of at least one Massachusetts resident.

On Christmas Eve 2009, National Steak and Poultry recalled at least 124 tons of mechanically tenderized beef products. The National Steak and Poultry outbreak caused at least 21 E. coli O157:H7 illness in 16 states, including nine hospitalizations and one case of HUS.

And in November 2009, ground beef from a New York ground beef company called Fairbank Farms was recalled due to E. coli O157:H7 contamination. That outbreak caused resulted in 26 E. coli O157:H7 illnesses, nineteen hospitalizations, and five who developed hemolytic uremic syndrome (HUS).

So Randolph Packing, where’s the beef?  What retail establishments have the potentially contaminated products?