Cargill recalls ground beef after E. coli reports – a few weeks ago

Cargill Meat Solutions Corp. has recalled about 8,500 pounds of ground beef that may be contaminated with E. coli, the U.S. Department of Agriculture has announced.

The move came after three people, two in Maine and one in New York, were identified as becoming ill from a strain of E. coli, the government said.

The USDA says it believes certain BJ’s Wholesale Club stores in Connecticut, Maine, Maryland, Massachusetts, New Hampshire, New Jersey, New York and Virginia received the products.

The recalled ground beef was shipped June 11 to distribution centers, where it was repackaged into consumer-size packages and sold under different retail brand names. The USDA did not identify the brands.

The recalled beef 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, which said it became aware of the problem on August 5, “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 government lists the recall as Class 1, meaning “there is a reasonable probability that the use of the product will cause serious, adverse health consequences or death…”

Mike Martin, Cargill spokesman, said Cargill is working with the USDA to learn what happened. “We decided to take swift action to do the right thing,” he said of the recall.

Let’s see – this crap has been out in the wild since June 11. The USDA – in lightning fashion discovered there was a problem – by August 5. And Cargill decided to take “swift action” – and issued a recall Saturday. August 28.

I wonder what a not-so-swift response would have been?

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