USDA: Detroit company recalls 1.8M lbs. of beef

DETROIT (USA TODAY) -- About 1.8 million pounds of ground beef products are being recalled due to possible E. coli contamination, according to federal food safety regulators.

Detroit-based Wolverine Packing Company had shipped the meat for restaurant use in Massachusetts, Michigan, Missouri and Ohio, according to the Department of Agriculture's Food Safety and Inspection Service.

The meat is linked to 11 cases of E. coli in four unnamed states. The E. coli bacteria causes dehydration, bloody diarrhea and abdominal cramps.

The recalled ground beef products were produced from March 31 to April 18, according to the USDA.

The agency released a full list Monday of the recalled products, which have the establishment number "EST. 2574B."

The best way for consumers to reduce their risk is to avoid ordering undercooked burgers. Specifically, ask your server for a burger cooked to 160 degrees, said Ben Chapman, a food safety professor at North Carolina State University .

"If you just say 'medium well,' you might get 145 degrees or 170 degrees," Chapman said. "The protection for consumers is being specific and maybe looking like a nerd."

USDA first became aware of the 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 noted 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.

For more information, including a link to the full recall list, click here.


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