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Costco Recalls E. coli Hamburger in Minnesota

Costco, in Coon Rapids, Minn., is recalling an undetermined amount of lean fresh ground beef products that may be contaminated with E. coli O157:H7, the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s Food Safety and Inspection Service (FSIS) announced today.

The product subject to recall is 383 units of 88% lean fresh ground beef (88/12). It bears the Costco item number 33724 under the Costco label. This product was sold directly to 342 consumers in a Costco located at 12547 Riverdale Blvd., Coon Rapids, Minn., between Sept. 4 and Sept. 7.

FSIS was notified of an E. coli O157:H7 illness on Oct. 17, 2013. Working in conjunction with Minnesota’s Department of Agriculture and Department of Health, FSIS determined that there is a link between the ground beef product from Costco and this illness. Based on epidemiological and traceback investigations, 1 case-patient has been identified in Minnesota with an estimated illness onset date of Sept. 29, 2013. The product was prepared from bull meat and finely ground beef from the Costco Wholesale plant in Tracy, Calif., and bench trim prepared at the Costco Wholesale in Coon Rapids, Minn. The steaks or roasts that were the source of the bench trim may have originated from as many as 16 federally inspected establishments. FSIS continues to work with the Minnesota Department of Agriculture and Department of Health on this investigation and will provide updated information as it becomes available.

E. coli O157:H7 is a potentially deadly bacterium that can cause dehydration, bloody diarrhea and abdominal cramps 2–8 days (3–4 days, on average) after exposure the organism. While most people recover within a week, some develop a type of kidney failure called hemolytic uremic syndrome (HUS). This condition can occur among persons of any age but is most common in children under 5-years old and older adults. It is marked by easy bruising, pallor, and decreased urine output. Persons who experience these symptoms should seek emergency medical care immediately.

FSIS and Costco are concerned that some product may be frozen and in consumers’ freezers.

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