Colorado meatpacker recalls ground beef after E. coli death

FILE - In this Jan. 11, 2016 file photo, dawn approaches over the meat processing plant owned and run by Cargill Meat Solutions, in Fort Morgan, a small town on the eastern plains of Colorado. The U.S. Department of Agriculture announced Wednesday, Sept. 20, 2018, that the company has recalled more than 132,000 pounds of ground beef after a deadly E. coli outbreak. The beef was produced on June 21 and shipped to retailers nationwide under several brands. (AP Photo/Brennan Linsley, File)

FORT MORGAN, Colo. (AP) -- A Colorado meatpacker is recalling more than 132,000 pounds (60,000 kilograms) of ground beef after a suspected E. coli outbreak killed one person and sickened 17, officials said.

The U.S. Department of Agriculture said Wednesday the beef was produced and packaged at Cargill Meat Solutions in Fort Morgan on June 21 and shipped to retailers nationwide.

The products include 3-, 10- and 20-pound (1.3-, 4.5- and 9-kilogram) packages of ground beef under the Our Certified, Excel, Sterling Silver, Certified and Fire River Farms brands with July 11 use or freeze by dates.

Regulators warned that people should also check for the products in their freezers. They advise throwing the products away or returning them to the location of purchase.

In a statement on Thursday, Cargill said all of the affected products have been removed from supermarkets. Food safety teams are reviewing the Fort Morgan facility and others "to ensure we continue to deliver safe food," the statement said.

"We were distressed to learn a fatality may be related to an E.coli contamination of one of our products," it said. "Our hearts go out to the families and individuals affected by this issue."

The USDA's Food Safety and Inspection Service did not release information about the people who died or became ill, including locations.

A spokeswoman referred questions to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. A representative for the CDC did not immediately return messages seeking more information.

The Cargill plant had a smaller recall of Excel ground beef in August, but no illnesses had been reported at that time.

Most people infected with E. coli develop diarrhea and vomiting. More severe infections can lead to kidney failure.