JBS Swift Beef Recall Hits Costco

July 1st, 2009 · 20 Comments

You may have read about the latest beef recall for e.coli that started about a week ago.  The JBS Swift Beef Company from Colorado initiated a voluntary recall of more than 40,000 pounds of various beef products.  The affected beef products were produced on April 21 and 22, 2009, and were shipped to distributors and retail establishments in Arizona, California, Colorado, Florida, Illinois, Michigan, Minnesota, Nebraska, Oregon, South Carolina, Tennessee, Utah and Wisconsin.  And some of it was supplied to Costco. At Costco the beef was made into steaks, ribs, and ground beef.

This recall affects products purchased between April 28, 2009 and May 28, 2009.  According to the JBS Swift Recall Letter posted on Costco’s Product Notices page, no products purchased after May 29, 2009 are part of this recall.  Here’s some additional information from the USDA Food Safety recall webpage regarding the products that are part of the recall:

Each box bears the establishment number “EST. 969” inside the USDA mark of inspection as well as the identifying package date of “042109” and a time stamp ranging from “0618” to “1130.” However, these products were sent to establishments and retail stores nationwide for further processing and will likely not bear the establishment number “EST. 969” on products available for direct consumer purchase. Customers with concerns should contact their point of purchase.

There have already been at least 18 illnesses associated with this recall, so it is best to check any meat products that you bought between April 28 and May 28, 2009.  If you have meat that is part of the recall you should return it to Costco (or whatever store you bought it from) for a refund.

For more information:


Tags: costco.com · Food · Health & Beauty · In the News Share

20 Responses so far ↓

  1. 1 Kimberly // 2009.07.14 at 7:55 am

    Linda, I’d love to be able to help you figure out what those item numbers correspond to, but I would have no way of doing that since I’m not affiliated with Costco. I would suggest that you either call your local Costco or send a request for help to the online Customer Service reps for Costco. You can fill out the online form here: https://costco.egain.net/system/web/custom/initialPage.html?lang=en-US&topnav=&whse=BC.

  2. 2 Sal // 2009.07.13 at 5:16 pm

    Nobody mentions this, but what if we’ve eaten the beef we bought (months ago)? I don’t freeze, but we use it up pretty soon after purchasing.

    • 3 Kimberly // 2009.07.14 at 7:43 am

      Well, if you ate it and didn’t get sick you’re lucky that you didn’t actually get any of the contaminated meat products. If you did get sick, I’m not sure what you should do but I would start with a call to both Costco and your local health department. From what I understand, a lot of recalls are precautionary because they can’t determine exactly when the contamination occurred; they have an idea but can not pinpoint it to a specific production time.

  3. 4 EILEEN // 2009.07.11 at 11:18 am

    I received a letter yesterday from Costco regarding Morton’s of Omaha meat products, stating I’d purchased a Tri Tip Sirloin between May 4 & June 26. The letter also stated if it had the “use by/freeze by” dates of June 17, 18, 19 & 26 that I should return it to my Costco (80 miles away in Tucson).

    I found the package in my freezer, but it has a use/freeze by date of June 9 on it, so I’m assuming I’m safe and can use the meat.

    It frustrates me that I received the letter on July 10 but the purchases in question would have been made back in early May through June 26! That seems like a pretty wide open time span.

    • 5 Kimberly // 2009.07.14 at 7:28 am

      The recall didn’t happen until the very end of June or early July, so Costco wouldn’t have realized there was a need to recall the meat or warn anyone until then. I think you got your letter pretty quickly after the recall happened.

  4. 6 Paul // 2009.07.09 at 5:26 am

    If you don’t know if you bought this meat, why don’t you go to your local Costco and then proceed to membership and ask them to check on their computer to see what dates you bought meat. That way you can figure out if you bought that meat or not.. they have records of everything that you buy…

  5. 7 Linda // 2009.07.07 at 10:19 am

    The following item numbers were listed on my lettter from JBS USA, INC>
    Can you help me to identify the products?
    I would really aprpeciate it!

  6. 8 Donna // 2009.07.06 at 3:06 pm

    I’m also wondering also about the prepackaged tubes of ground beef. Guess it’s best to ask Costco directly because I’m not sure when we bought them —but think it was end of May or early June.

  7. 9 Kimberly // 2009.07.05 at 7:44 pm

    Here’s what the CDC has about symptoms for E. coli infection:
    “Bloody diarrhea and stomach pain are the most common signs of E. coli O157:H7 sickness. People usually do not have a fever, or may have only a slight fever.

    Some people, especially children under 5 and the elderly, can become very sick from E. coli O157:H7. The infection damages their red blood cells and their kidneys. This only happens to about 1 out of 50 people, but it is very serious. Without hospital care, they can die. See a doctor right away if you think you may have gotten sick from E. coli O157:H7.”

  8. 10 debbie // 2009.07.05 at 12:32 am

    Is there any chance someone could get a strange burning pain in their hands and feet. I ate the meat and have had this strange undiagnosed pain since around then???

  9. 11 Kimberly // 2009.07.03 at 9:46 am

    Tina, I’m not sure if those packages of ground beef are included in the recall. You might want to call your local Costco, just to be on the safe side.

  10. 12 Kimberly // 2009.07.03 at 9:44 am

    Costco has added the Morton’s of Omaha Steakhouse Classic and/or Rosemary, Garlic & Chardonnay Tri Tip Sirloin Beef Bottom to the list of recalled beef items. So, if you purchased these between May 4, 2009 and June 26, 2009, you should return them to Costco for a full refund. They will have a use or freeze by date of June 17, June 18. June 19, and June 26, 2009.

  11. 13 Tina // 2009.07.02 at 10:46 am

    I bought the prepackaged tubes of ground beef from the frozen food dept. Is this included in the recall?

  12. 14 Kimberly // 2009.07.02 at 8:48 am

    Glenna, I admire your 50 mile drive Costco dedication! If you received a call or a letter that is because Costco believes you have purchased the recalled beef products. Based on that, I would suggest you return it to your Costco. However, you could probably save it until your next Costco trip so you don’t have to drive 100 miles just to take back the recalled beef.

  13. 15 glenna // 2009.07.01 at 8:32 pm

    We were called last night regarding beef & ribs. I notice on the Costco comments that the beef was not listed as being shipped to Washington State. As with other people, our ground beef has been repackaged. Since I live in Washington should I return the beef to my Costco store 50 miles away?

  14. 16 Kimberly // 2009.07.01 at 6:20 pm

    Here’s some more information about the beef recall, with specifics about Costco. Apparently, Costco only received about 4,300 pounds of the recalled meat which amounted to more than 300,000 when JBS Swift expanded the recall.

    Seattle Times: Costco Contacts Customers as Beef Recalled

  15. 17 Kimberly // 2009.07.01 at 4:58 pm

    That’s an excellent question regarding the beef that you have repackaged in your freezer. I think I would call your local Costco’s Customer Service department to ask them what you should do in this situation. I would think the best thing to do would be to return it all to Costco; they should be able to look it up in their records. I assume you have various cuts of beef and maybe some ground meat, so perhaps Costco could help you narrow it down by telling you what the recall was issues against (ie steaks or ground beef, etc).

    Sorry I couldn’t be of more definitive help.

  16. 18 Jim Swannack // 2009.07.01 at 4:40 pm

    I purchase all my meats at Costco. I repackage when I get home and put in smaller containers as there are only two of us. How am I supposed to know if I have contaminated meat where I do not have the original packing cover? Received a phone call yesterday stating we had purchased some of this meat.

  17. 19 William Paxson // 2009.07.01 at 4:18 pm

    We always purchase beef from Costco. All beef in freezer is from there. We were notified that we purchased beef during the recall dates. We have no way of knowing which packages were purchased during the recall period since we bring it home and repackage for the freezer.
    Shouldn’t we return all the beef in freezer?

  18. 20 William Paxson // 2009.07.01 at 4:15 pm

    ALL the beef in our freezer was purchased at Costco. We of course, repackage for the freezer so have no way of knowing the purchase date but we were informed that we purchased some beef during the recall dates. There’s really no way to determine which of the meat that would be. what do you suggest we do about this meet.

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