For all you beef eaters out there: beware.
Federal food safety regulators say about 1.8 million pounds of ground beef products are being recalled due to possible E. coli contamination. Meat from the Wolverine Packing Company in Detroit has been linked to 11 cases of E. coli in four unnamed states. The company shipped the meat for restaurant use in Massachusetts, Michigan, Missouri and Ohio, according to the Department of Agriculture's Food and Safety and Inspection Service.
The recalled ground beef products were produced from March 31 to April 18, according to the USDA. The agency also released a full list of the recalled products, which have the establishment number "EST. 2574B."
E. coli or Escherichia coli bacteria normally live in the intestines of healthy people and animals, according to Mayo Clinic. Most varieties of E. coli are harmless or cause relatively brief diarrhea. But a few particularly nasty strains can cause severe abdominal cramps, bloody diarrhea and vomiting.
Food safety experts say the best way for consumers to reduce their risk in being exposed to the bacteria is to avoid ordering undercooked burgers. It’s suggested that beef eaters ask their server for a burger cooked to 160 degrees and not “medium well,” which is about 145 degrees or 170 degrees.
The USDA first became aware of the recent E. coli illnesses on May 12 and worked with the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention to determine a link to Wolverine Packing Company. Federal inspectors said that none of the potentially contaminated beef was shipped to the National School Lunch Program, the Department of Defense, or for catalog and online sales.
(Photo: Tim Boyle/Newsmakers)