USDA announces recall of ground beef suspect of E. coli contamination

By Martin Weil
Washington Post Staff Writer
Monday, August 30, 2010; B06

About 8,500 pounds of ground beef that might be contaminated with a type of E. coli bacteria are being recalled by a company in Pennsylvania, the Department of Agriculture announced Saturday.

The department said its Food Safety and Inspection Service found a link between the recalled ground beef and three instances of illness in New York and Maine.

The service said Cargill Meat Solutions of Wyalusing, Pa., shipped the beef in question in cases of 14-pound packages, called chubs, to distribution centers in Connecticut and Maryland for further distribution in smaller packages for consumers. They were sold under different retail brand names, the department said.

The department released a list of retail outlets that it said it had reason to believe had received some of the beef in question.

No stores in the immediate Washington area were listed. In Maryland, one store in Baltimore was listed, and in Virginia, one store in Chesapeake. All of the stores listed in a total of eight states were BJ's Wholesale Club locations.

However, the department said the list released Saturday might not include all retail locations that received the recalled beef.

It also said the list might include retail locations that did not receive the recalled product. It urged consumers to use the identifying data it provided.

The department said the ground beef has an identifying product code of W69032. It said the beef subject to recall carries the establishment number EST. 9400 inside the USDA mark of inspection. The ground beef was produced on June 11, and packages had a use-by/freeze-by date of July 1, the Food Safety and Inspection Service said.

The service said ground beef should be eaten only if it has been cooked to 160 degrees Fahrenheit. A food thermometer that measures internal temperature is the only way to confirm that level, the service said.

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