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E. coli illnesses reported in Maine and New York has prompted Cargill Meat Solutions Corp. to recall about 8,500 pounds of ground beef, the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s Food Safety and Inspection Service (FSIS) said on Saturday.

The recalled meat was sold at BJ’s Wholesale Club in eight states earlier this summer. And the agency is concerned that some of the product may still be in consumers’ freezers. FSIS urges consumers to check their freezers and discard any product subject to this recall.

The product subject to recall includes: [View Label]

  • 42-pound cases of "GROUND BEEF FINE 90/10," containing three (3) – approximately 14 pound chubs each. These products have a "use/freeze by" date of "07/01/10," and an identifying product code of "W69032."

On August 5, Maine officials warned the USDA about several cases of E. coli 026 illnesses. Two people were identified in Maine and one in New York.

The E. coli 026 bacteria can cause symptoms of food poisoning and, in severe cases, kidney failure.

Safety Tips for Handling Raw Meat

Wash hands with warm, soapy water for 20 seconds before and after handling raw meat and poultry. Also wash dishes, cutting boards and utensils with hot, soapy water.

Raw meat, fish and poultry that will not be cooked, should be kept away from other food. Separate cutting boards should be used for raw meat, poultry and egg products and cooked foods.

More safety tips for handling raw meat can be found in the USDA News Release.

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