Cargill has issued multiple recalls for thousands of pounds of ground beef due to possible E. coli contamination over the last two months.
Following a recall of more than 130,000 pounds of ground beef last week, the United States Department of Agriculture is now warning shoppers that the raw meat was sold nationwide at some of the largest big-box retailers and supermarkets around—including Target, Aldi, and Sam's Club.
The USDA's Food Safety and Inspection Service first issued a warning and a recall notice on Sept. 19, outlining how 66 tons of ground beef products made by Colorado-based manufacturer Cargill Meat Solutions had already sickened 17 people and killed one due to E. coli sickness. Cargill Meat Solutions has issued more than one recall notice for beef over the last two months, including a major recall that affected Publix shoppers over Labor Day Weekend.
The latest batch of affected ground beef has been sold nationwide at the following stores, according to the USDA: Meijer, Safeway, Albertson's, and Target. The product in question was shipped regionally it to Aldi stores in Iowa, Illinois, Kansas, Minnesota, Missouri, Oklahoma, Nebraska, and Wisconsin—in California, the USDA reports the beef was also sold at Pak N Save, Vons supermarkets, and FoodMaxx.
But what may cause you to think twice about cooking with ground beef in your kitchen right now is the fact that the USDA says more retailers, including independent stores and smaller regional chains, could still have contaminated beef on shelves. And because the very first Cargill recall involved items that were sold in July, there's a chance you may have put ground beef in your freezer that could put you at risk of developing E. coli poisoning.
More on handling foodborne illnesses in your kitchen:
- These Are the Most Common Foodborne Illnesses—And How to Avoid Them
- Think You Might Have Food Poisoning? Here Are the Warning Signs
- These Are the Symptoms of E. coli Poisoning You Should Look For
Shoppers are asked to check their ground beef to ensure the product isn't part of the recall—the USDA has a full list of all 12 affected packaged beef products right here. If you happen to have beef in your kitchen that's on the list, do not eat it—throw it out or bring it back to the supermarket for a full refund.
A previous investigation into this burgeoning E. coli outbreak showed that many victims fell ill in July, but this latest recall from Cargill means that the risk is still real for home cooks everywhere.