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Michigan company recalling ground beef


A Detroit, Michigan meat packing company is recalling 1.8 million pounds of ground beef associated with the E-coli O157:H7 outbreak reported last week.

According to the Department of Agriculture’s Food and Safety Inspection Service (FSIS), Wolvering Packing Co., of Detroit, is recalling the ground beef, which was produced between March 31, and April 18.

The products subject to recall bear the establishment number “EST. 2574B” and will have a production date code in the format “Packing Nos: MM DD 14” between “03 31 14” and “04 18 14.” These products were shipped to distributors for restaurant use in Massachusetts, Michigan, Missouri, and Ohio. There was no distribution of the products to the Department of Defense, the National School Lunch Program, or catalog/internet sales.

Based on epidemiological and traceback investigations, 11 case-patients have been identified in four states with illness onset dates ranging from April 22, 2014 to May 2, 2014. We reported last week that there were five confirmed Shiga-toxin producing E. coli O157 illnesses reported in adults in Michigan between 20-41 years of age, with symptom onset dates from April 22-May 1. Three individuals were hospitalized.

E. coli O157:H7 is a potentially deadly bacterium that can cause dehydration, bloody diarrhea and abdominal cramps 2–8 days (3–4 days, on average) after exposure to the organism. While most people recover within a week, some develop a type of kidney failure called hemolytic uremic syndrome (HUS). This condition can occur among persons of any age but is most common in children under 5-years old and older adults. It is marked by easy bruising, pallor, and decreased urine output. Persons who experience these symptoms should seek emergency medical care immediately.

FSIS advises all consumers to safely prepare their raw meat products, including fresh and frozen, and only consume ground beef that has been cooked to a temperature of 160° F. The only way to confirm that ground beef is cooked to a temperature high enough to kill harmful bacteria is to use a food thermometer that measures internal temperature.

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