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WASHINGTON — Commissaries throughout the Pacific have pulled from their shelves frozen beef products thought to be responsible for making three Japanese children ill on Okinawa.

The products were pulled Monday, according to Nancy O’Nell, a public affairs officer for the Western Pacific Region of the Defense Commissary Agency.

In a Wednesday news release, U.S. Forces Japan said that no other cases of the disease had been reported on Okinawa or elsewhere.

The Food Safety and Inspection Service of the U.S. Department of Agriculture has mandated that Richwood Meat Co., of Merced, Calif., recall frozen raw beef products stamped “Packed on Date of August 11, 2003,” the same packing date as the contaminated meat.

Kaye Kennedy, chief of corporate communications, said that DECA directors worldwide, including in Europe, which handles commissaries there and in the Middle East, were told to check their inventory, pull any affected products, and report findings to headquarters.

According to the U.S. Food and Drug Administration, the enterohemorrhagic (EHEC) strain designated E. coli O157:H7 is one of four recognized classes of E. coli that can cause gastroenteritis in humans.

The illness is characterized by severe abdominal pain and diarrhea. Occasionally vomiting occurs. Fever is either low-grade or absent. The illness usually lasts for an average of eight days, according to the FDA.

For a complete list of the recalled beef products, go to:

The Associated Press contributed to this report.


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