Disponible en francais aussi

OK, so you’re probably here because you heard about the recall of ground beef produced by XL Foods and sold in many supermarkets including Costco. The recall is after tests done by the CFIA (Canadian Food Inspection Agency) which uncovered risks of E.Coli bacteria contaminating the beef. There have not been any cases of discomfort, illness or death in the context of the current recall. It’s a proactive recall.

There are three products sold in Costco warehouses which are affected by the recall (at the moment) and here are the details:

Kirkland Signature

Lean ground beef 15% fat or less Various Starts with 2 21927 Pack On  Dates between 12AU30 and 12SE15 National

Kirkland Signature

Lean ground beef patties / 15% fat or less Various Starts with 2 52733 Pack On Dates between 12AU30 and 12SE15 National

Kirkland Signature

Ground beef tube 86% lean full case / Manual weight Various Starts with 2 97420 Pack On Dates between 12AU30 and 12SE15 National


I bought lean ground beef at Costco about 5-6 days ago so it falls within the date range of products affected by the recall. I haven’t yet searched through my receipts to see if the UPC (universal product code, or barcode) matches the products, but I’m pretty sure it does.

Thinking about it, I said to myself that… Costco could easily alert all consumers who purchased these products – to follow the CFIA recommendation (to throw away the food), and possibly get a refund.

How? Pretty simple:

A few months ago, I got an automated voicemail (à la Robocall) from Costco notifying us that there was a recall on Kirkland Signature cat food mentioning the specific barcodes and all.

How do they know – well, to shop at Costco, one needs to be a member, one must show the card when entering the store, and by being a member you have to give your info to Costco including your home address, telephone number, email, etc.

When arriving at the checkout aisle, you have to present your card again, which is scanned and then they pass our purchases under their bar code scanner.

So this allows Costco to know exactly what their members purchase, how often and to optimize their business to choose products that are the most profitable and sell them at just the right moment.

Anyhow, that’s how they knew that we bought Kirkland Signature cat food – by matching their transaction database with member information correlating to a certain UPC (barcode) affected, and generating the notices (by phone, but it could have been by email) to alert customers.

So, will they do the same for this ground beef recall like they did for the cat food?

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