Stampede Meat Inc. recalled 739,000 pounds of vacuum packaged steaks and other meat products that may be contaminated with potentially deadly bacteria, federal health officials said Sunday.
The Agriculture Department's Food Safety and Inspection Service said the products subject to the recall were produced from March 17 to March 22 and bear the establishment code "EST. 19113" inside the USDA inspection mark.
The meat was distributed to restaurants, institutions and retail stores nationwide.
Stampede, based in Chicago, also sold some of the meat directly to consumers through door-to-door sales. The products also were distributed to institutions in Canada.
The meat may be linked to five E. coli illnesses in Minnesota, Kansas and Michigan, health officials said.
E. coli is a potentially deadly bacteria that can cause bloody diarrhea and dehydration. The very young, seniors and people with compromised immune systems are at greatest risk.
Steaks generally are not considered a high-risk source of E. coli. However, the recalled products were injected with meat tenderizers and other chemicals, a process that may have created an entry for the E. coli bacteria, federal officials said.