1.8 million pounds of ground beef have been recalled over fears the meat may be contaminated with E. coli. (Via U.S. Department of Agriculture)
The U.S. Department of Agriculture says at least 11 people contracted E. coli in Massachusetts, Michigan, Missouri and Ohio. So far, no deaths have been reported.
Food safety officials traced back the illnesses to Detroit-based Wolverine Packing Company, which sold the ground beef to restaurants in those four states. The company has now recalled beef produced from March 31 to April 18. (Via WJBK)
E. coli is a potentially deadly strain of bacteria. While patients typically recover within a week, in some cases it can cause kidney failure. (Via Animal Planet)
WebMD lists the main symptoms as bloody diarrhea, stomach cramps, nausea and vomiting.
As with other foodborne illnesses, infants, seniors and those with weak immune systems are most susceptible.
To avoid contamination, public health officials advise consumers to safely prepare meat and to request at restaurants your ground beef cooked to a temperature of 160 degrees Fahrenheit. (Via ABC)
A food safety professor at North Carolina State University offered this bit of advice to USA Today: "If you just say 'medium well,' you might get 145 degrees or 170 degrees. … The protection for consumers is being specific and maybe looking like a nerd."
To be clear, the USDA says none of the possibly tainted meat was sold in grocery stores or used in the National School Lunch Program.