from oregonian: A Portland company is recalling nearly 40,000 pounds of ground beef products over fears they are contaminated with E. coli O157:H7. SP Provisions said in the recall notice from the U.S. Department of Agriculture that 39,973 pounds of suspect beef was sold under the Cascade Natural Beef and SP Provisions brands before May 29. It was distributed to retail stores as well as to hotels, restaurants and institutions in Oregon and Washington. The recall covers 5-pound and 10-pound bags of ground beef and chili grind and 15-pound boxes of ground beef patties produced on various dates between April 8 and May 28. For details on the code numbers, check the USDA Web site here. E. coli O157:H7 is a potentially deadly bacterium that can cause bloody diarrhea, dehydration and kidney failure in the most severe cases. The very young, elderly people and those with weak immune systems are the most susceptible to getting sick. Ground beef should be cooked to an internal temperature of 160 degrees F., which kills bacteria. Consumers are also advised to wash their hands with soap and warm water for at least 20 seconds before and after handling raw meat and poultry. Cutting boards, dishes and utensils should be washed as well.