Ground Beef Recall Involved 1.8 Million Pounds Of Ground Beef That Cause Deadly E. Coli
A Michigan based has issued a ground beef recall involving 1.8 million pounds of ground beef products sold from Wolverine Packing Co. due to a possible contamination with E. coli. According to the USDA, the tainted beef products may contain E. coli O157:H7, which has caused at least 11 cases of E. coli outbreaks over four states, resulting in at least 3 hospitalizations, and could potentially by deadly for the elderly and infants if infected.
The USDA states the ground beef recall involves products that were produced between March 31 and April 18 and were sold in Michigan, Missouri, Ohio, and Massachusetts. The USDA wants to remind consumers to properly prepare meat, particularly ground beef products, which can have a higher chance of contamination. Wolverine Packing issued a statement regarding the ground beef recall on May 19 2014, stating that, “none of the Wolverine Packing product has tested positive for the pathogen implicated in this outbreak,” but the company would, “take this voluntary recall action in response to the illnesses and initial outbreak investigation findings.”
Ground Beef Recall And Side-Effects From E-Coli
According to USA Today, side effects from E. coli O157:H7 can be particularly miserable; with symptoms like severe cramps, vomiting, and bloody diarrhea. Michigan State University researcher Evangelyn Alocilja who has developed new ways to identify infectious agents faster, told USA Today that this particular strain of E. coli can be deadly to young children, infants, and the elderly. It only takes 23 strains of E. coli together to kill a human. As a contrast, it takes over 1,000 strains of salmonella to kill a human. [May 2014, http://www.usatoday.com/story/news/nation-now/2014/05/19/ground-beef-recall-ecoli/9276805/]
The FDA was alerted to this potentially deadly outbreak on May 12th. The U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), USDA, and local health officials will work together to eliminate the potentially contaminated meat from restaurants. Consumers in these four states should search their own ground beef for the possibly contaminated meat. The meat will have the establishment number of “EST. 2574B” and a production date code that is formatted like “Packing Nos: MM DD 14” with a date between “03 31 14” and “04 18 14.” The USDA is mainly concerned about meat that may have been frozen and saved for later consumption. None of the possibly infected meat was used in the National School Lunch Program, sold through catalog, or used for the Department of Defense.
Consumers can reduce their risk of infection by always cooking ground beef fully to 160 degrees. It can take up to 5 to 7 days to recover from an E. coli infection. The USDA recommends always asking for burgers that are cooked to 160 degrees even at restaurants. Stating “medium well” or even “well” may not produce a consistent heat that will kill all strains of bacteria. [http://www.fsis.usda.gov/wps/portal/fsis/topics/recalls-and-public-health-alerts/recall-case-archive/archive/2014/recall-030-2014]
Safety Tips For Cooking Ground Beef
- Use a thermometer to measure internal temperature while cooking. Make sure all parts of the meat reach 160 degrees.
- Never store raw meat near food that will not be cooked.
- Wash all cutting boards and utensils immediately after use in hot water and soap.
- Use separate cutting boards for meat and produce.
Safe Temperatures For All Meat
- Ground beef: 160
- Fish: 145
- Poultry: 165
- Hot dogs: 160 degrees
- Any steak or chop meat (beef, lamb, pork): 145 degrees and 3 minutes of rest time