Ground beef sold at BJ's Wholesale Club recalled over E. coli risk

Ground beef sold at BJs being recalled.A company that sells meat to BJ's Wholesale Club stores is recalling about 8,500 pounds of ground beef that may be contaminated with E. coli and has been linked to three consumers getting sick, says the U.S. Department of Agriculture.

Cargill Meat Solutions Corp. is recalling 42-pound cases of "Ground Beef Fine 90/10" with a use-by-or-freeze-by date of July 1, 2010. The meat was shipped to distribution centers in Connecticut and Maryland, repackaged into consumer packages and sold under yet-to-be-named retail brands. The USDA says consumers bought the meat at some BJ's Wholesale Clubs in Connecticut, Maine, Maryland, Massachusetts, New Hampshire, New Jersey, New York and Virginia. The retail giant was the only business listed.
In a statement to Consumer Ally, BJ's Wholesale Club says Cargill told it of the recall Friday. The retailer says that the meat was sold at 26 club stores between June 16 and 30. "Considering the sold dates, we expect that any product not already consumed is currently frozen," BJ's Wholesale Club says. "People should not consume the product and should dispose of the product. All purchasers of the product will be receiving a letter from BJ's advising them of this information and telling them they may take their receipt or the letter to BJ's for a full refund."

Authorities are worried that some of the meat may still be in consumers' freezers and recommend throwing it away. USDA says the three people who were sickened -- two in Maine and another in New York -- were ill between June 24 and July 16. E. coli can cause bloody diarrhea, dehydration and, in the most severe cases, kidney failure.

For more info, consumers can call Cargill Meat at (877) 788-4953.

The USDA gives the following tips for handling raw meat:
  • Wash hands with warm, soapy water for at least 20 seconds before and after handling raw meat. Wash cutting boards, dishes and utensils with hot, soapy water and immediately clean spills.
  • Keep raw meat away from other food that won't be cooked and use separate cutting boards.
  • Eat only ground beef or patties that have been cooked to an internal temperature of 160 degrees F as measured by a thermometer -- just checking the color is not reliable.
  • Refrigerate raw meat within two hours of buying it or sooner and refrigerate cooked meat within two hours of cooking
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