Thirty-eight people from three states are sick with salmonella that may be linked to ground beef processed at Safeway stores,  the United States Department of Agriculture’s Food Safety and Inspection Service says.

The shipments with the salmonella contaminated beef were received between Sept. 19 and Nov. 5 in five states – California, Arizona, Hawaii, Nevada and New Mexico – Safeway said in a statement Thursday.

Safeway issued the statement in response to a USDA public health alert, citing illnesses from Salmonella Newport related to fresh ground beef products.

The FSIS public health alert said there was "an association" between the fresh ground beef products and 38 illnesses reported from Arizona, California, Idaho and Nevada.

The USDA advised consumers to look for and discard fresh ground beef products with the Sept. 19-Nov. 5 dates.

The tainted beef isn’t subject to an official recall because it’s been so long since it was sold.  In the meantime, however, it made too many people sick.