The Canadian Food Inspection Agency has vastly expanded its recall of ground beef products sold at a number of stores in Newfoundland and Labrador because they may be contaminated with E. coli bacteria.
Friday the CFIA recalled two products that are sold in this province.
Saturday the recall was expanded to include, "all store-made ground beef along with all value-added store-made or packaged products containing beef at Sobeys and Foodland stores," stated the health hazard alert.
The latest recall also includes "unlabelled and/or unbranded ground beef products available for sale from August 24 through September 16, 2012, and sold at retail stores not identified in the CFIA's product list below," stated the alert.
The agency said small retailers, local meat markets and butcher shops are also at risk of selling contaminated meat.
As a result, CFIA is advising consumers who are unsure if they have an affected ground beef product, to check with the store where the product was purchased, or throw it out.
Sherry Shimek was shopping at a major grocery store in Calgary on Sunday.
"You're making food for your family — you don't want to get sick, so it's pretty scary," she said.
Shopper Pam Deurbrouck says she has changed her shopping habits because of the recent recalls.
"I didn't buy any ground beef," Deubrouck said. "I don't know when I will buy it again. Honestly. Really. You know? It's very scary."
There have been no reported illnesses so far.
Food contaminated with E. coli may not look or smell spoiled; however, consumption of food contaminated with the bacteria may cause serious and potentially life-threatening illnesses.
Symptoms include severe abdominal pain and bloody diarrhea.
The CFIA is monitoring the effectiveness of the recall. The agency said the recall is part of an ongoing safety investigation, and it is working with firms and distributors to identify and verify all affected products.
Customers with concerns can call the CFIA for information at 1-800-442-2342 (8 a.m. to 8 p.m. ET, Monday to Friday).