Ground Beef Recall Affects MA BJ’s Wholesale Clubs

BOSTON – Thousands of pounds of ground beef are being recalled across the Northeast after an E. coli scare.

The U.S. Department of Agriculture said Pennsylvania-based Cargill Meat Solutions Corp. is recalling 8,500 pounds of ground beef that may be contaminated. The recall is happening at BJ’s Wholesale Club stores in eight states, including Massachusetts.

Massachusetts had nine stores on the list – the most locations affected by the recall.

“The ground beef that is being recalled had a use by date of July 1. If people still have the product it would likely be frozen,” said BJ’s spokeswoman Kelly McFall. “The store is going to be sending out letters to all members who purchased the item.”

42-pound cases are being recalled from BJ’s in Attleboro, Auburn, Leominster, Plymouth, Revere, Stoneham, Taunton, Waltham, and Weymouth.

“I’m really worried about it and I’d probably cut down on the beef to tell you the truth,” said Tony Caruso, who was shopping at the Waltham BJ’s Sunday afternoon.

The USDA said three people have been sickened due to E. coli-related illnesses – two in Maine and one in New York.

Along with the massive nationwide egg recall due to a Salmonella outbreak, food safety experts say it’s time for change.

“I think we’re at a point in time where we have a chance to reform the food safety system,” said Julie Caswell, a Resource Economics Professor at UMass Amherst. “These recalls may be an indicator that it really is time for some systematic changes.”

Caswell recently advised the Food and Drug Administration to implement changes that she believes would decrease contamination.

“Reports recommend having the controls in place that mean the food is safe coming out of the plant rather than getting into a recall situation at the end,” said Caswel.

Consumers with questions about the ground beef recall should call Cargill Meat Solutions Corp. at 877.788.4953.