Stomach bug outbreak strikes 16 states

Prepackaged salad linked to some illinesses

RANCHO MIRAGE, Calif. - Prepackaged salads could be hazardous to your health.  Authorities have revealed  some salad mixes could be responsible for making at least 21 people so sick they had to be hospitalized.

While no cases have shown up in California yet, the Centers for Disease Control and the FDA are looking into a link between bagged salad and nearly 400 people in 16 other states coming down with a stomach bug known as Cyclospora.

In Iowa and Nebraska health officials say they've discovered the microscopic parasite in mixed salad bags of iceberg and romaine lettuce with carrots and red cabbage.  However, the federal government isn't revealing the name brands since it says it's not sure all the illnesses are linked to bagged salad.  This stance is not going over well with local grocery store shoppers.

"The public has a right to know either way," said Rancho Mirage resident, Debi Roemmich.  "They have a right to know what they're suspicious of, what bags it is, what manufacturers.  You know know there's no sense putting the public at risk."

If you're concerned about bagged salad you may have in the fridge, when in doubt, throw it out.  Also, food safety experts say due to bacteria that can be picked up in the kitchen, re-washing bagged lettuce may be riskier than consuming it straight from the bag.

Meantime, the USDA has announced a national recall of 50,000 pounds of ground beef after a sample at a Kansas processing company tested positive for the E. coli bacteria.

The following beef products have been recalled, all sold in 10-pound packages:

-- "National Beef" 93/ 7 Fine Ground Beef, Product Code 0707
-- "NatureSource" 80/20 Fine Ground Chuck, Product Code 7031
-- "NatureSource" 85/15 Fine Ground Beef, Product Code 7054
-- "NatureSource" 90/10 Fine Ground Beef, Product Code 7344
-- "NatureSource" 93/ 7 Fine Ground Beef, Product Code 7004
-- "NatureWell 80/20 Fine Ground Chuck, Product Code 7484
-- "NatureWell" 85/15 Fine Ground Beef, Product Code 7454
-- "NatureWell" 90/10 Fine Ground Sirloin, Product Code 7577
-- "NatureWell" 93/7 Fine Ground Beef, Product Code 7404
The beef also contains the establishment number "EST. 208A" inside the USDA mark of inspection.
Consumers can call (866) 761-9472 or go here <http://www.nationalbeef.com> for more details about the recall and the company's return and reimbursement policy.

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