Late Friday night, the U.S. Department of Agriculture announced Cargill Inc. is recalling about 8,500 pounds of ground beef for possible E. coli contamination.
According to the USDA, two E. coli illnesses in Maine and one in New York prompted the recall. None of the three required hospitalization, a Cargill spokesman told CNN yesterday.
The recalled meat was processed at Cargill Meat Solutions in Wyalusing, Pennsylvania. BJ’s Wholesale Club stores in Connecticut, Maine, Maryland, Massachusetts, New Hampshire, New Jersey, New York and Virginia are believed to have received the products.
The product was shipped June 11 to distribution centers, and was then repackaged and sold under various retail brand names. Public health officials have not identified the brands. The recalled product bears the USDA establishment number “EST. 9400,” a product code of “W69032” and a “use/freeze by” date of July 1.
The USDA’s Food Safety and Inspection Services said it became aware of the problem on August 5, and eventually “determined that there is an association between the ground beef products subject to recall and the cluster of illnesses in the states of Maine and New York.”
The identified the strain in the ongoing outbreak and recall is E. coli 026, which can cause bloody diarrhea, dehydration and, in severe cases, kidney failure.
The recall is considered “Class I,” which means the the government has determined “there is a reasonable probability that the use of the product will cause serious, adverse health consequences or death.”
USDA said Friday they “strongly encourage consumers to check their freezers and immediately discard any product subject to this recall.”
For more information on the specific labels, and, when available, the list of retail locations affected, see the FSIS recall page.