Fraser Health is warning that raw ground beef from a Chilliwack, B.C. butcher shop may pose a health risk if consumed.

The lean and extra lean ground beef that was produced and sold between March 5 and 8 from Fraser Valley Meats may be contaminated with E. coli, Fraser Health said Thursday in a written advisory.

A sample of raw ground beef collected from the Chilliwack shop tested positive for E. coli O103, a less virulent stream of the bacteria.

Those who purchased beef from the store on those dates are asked to return or discard it.

May cause illness

Fraser Health Medical Officer of Health Andrew Larder said this strain of bacteria is not as serious as the more common E. coli, 0157 strain, but it may also cause bloody diarrhea and kidney failure.

Not everyone who consumes the affected meat may become ill, Dr. Larder said in an interview. Thoroughly cooking the meat will also kill the bacteria, he added.

Fraser health said an investigation is underway to determine the source of the bacteria, but noted in the statement that there were no food safety issues with the process in which the products were prepared.

The butcher shop is cooperating with the investigation, Larder said. No illnesses have been linked to the ground beef.

"These products were prepared using methods that meet food safety standards," Dr. Larder said.

Dr. Larder said anyone who becomes ill with diarrhea two to 10 days after eating these meat products is urged to contact a physician or call the nurse line at 811.