Nearly 1.8 million pounds of ground beef is being recalled because it may contain the bacteria E. coli, the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s Food Safety and Inspection Service announced. The affected products involve Wolverine Packing Co. ground beef sold for restaurant use in four states – Massachusetts, Michigan, Missouri and Ohio.
The affected meat was also distributed to institutions such as the Department of Defense and the National School Lunch Program. Recalled packages are marked with the number “EST. 2574B” and have a production date code in the format “Packing Nos: MMDD14” between “03 31 14” and “04 18 14.” A list of the recalled Wolverine Packing Co. meat products can be found here.
The recall was initiated after one person in Massachusetts, five in Michigan, four in Ohio and one in Missouri became sick after eating the meat.
Many strains of E. coli are harmless to humans, however the strain believed to have contaminated the recalled ground beef involves the dangerous strain o157:H7, a potentially deadly bacterium that can cause dehydration, bloody diarrhea and abdominal cramps. Most people recover after a week but some develop a type of kidney failure known as hemolytic uremic syndrome. Young children, older adults, and those with compromised immune systems are more vulnerable to complications from this strain of E. coli.
The USDA recommends cooking ground beef to 160 degrees in order to kill any harmful bacteria in the meat.
Source: The Salt Lake Tribune