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Beef Recall

September 2, 2010

Contact: Maine Department of Agriculture, or the Division of Infectious Disease at the Maine CDC
207-287-3841 or 800-821-5821

AUGUSTA—The Maine Department of Agriculture and Maine Center for Disease Control and Prevention (Maine CDC) want to remind consumers to check their freezers for products involved in the ground beef recall that was issued by USDA, due to possible *Escherichia coli* O26 contamination. The ground beef, distributed by Cargill Meat Solutions Corp., of Wyalusing, Pennsylvania, was sold at BJ’s Wholesale Club stores in Maine.

The product subject to recall includes:

  • 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.” [View Label].

Details, suppliers, and product codes for the recall can be found at:

The Maine CDC has identified two adults with a matching strain of E. coli O26. The date of onset of illness for the two patients was July 8 and July 16. Patients resided in Androscoggin and Oxford counties. Both patients prepared and consumed ground beef. One patient in New York State also matches this strain of E. coli O26. The patient in New York State also had exposure to ground beef.

E. coli O26 is a bacterium that can cause illness resulting in diarrhea and abdominal cramps. The illness can also cause severe kidney complications. The very young, elderly, and persons with weak immune systems are more susceptible to illness.

The Maine Department of Agriculture and Maine CDC advise all consumers to safely prepare their raw meat products, including fresh and frozen, and only consume ground beef that has been cooked to an internal temperature of 160 F. The only way to confirm that ground beef is cooked to a temperature high enough to kill harmful bacteria is to use a food thermometer that measures internal temperature.

Individuals with the recalled ground beef products should discard the product or return it to the place of purchase for a full refund. Individuals who have eaten the product and are currently ill with diarrhea should consult with their health care provider.

For more information please contact the Maine Department of Agriculture, 207-287-3841, or the Division of Infectious Disease at the Maine CDC at 800-821-5821.