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11 E.Coli Cases Reported in Four States

The U.S. Department of Agriculture has announced a recall of 1.8 million pounds of ground beef products produced by Wolverine Packing Company between March 31 and April 18. There were reports of 11 Escherichia coli O157:H7 infections in four states that triggered the action.

The USDA’s Food Safety and Inspection Service received a report on the illnesses on May 12 and, along with the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention identified a link between ground beef from the Detroit company and the outbreak.

“All of our product is tested when it’s made, and so none of our tests were positive (for E. coli), so it was not a positive link to our product,” said company spokesman Lyle Orwig to MLive News. “Nine of the 11 people who got sick on ground beef ordered hamburgers ‘rare.’ The other two people could not trace their illness to the ground beef.”

The beef was sent to distributors for restaurant use in Massachusetts, Michigan, Missouri, and Ohio. None of the products were sent to the Department of Defense or the National School Lunch Program or made available through catalog or Internet sales.

Symptoms of an E. coli infection, which include abdominal cramping and bloody diarrhea, usually appear about three days after exposure and can take up to a week to develop. No deaths have been reported.

Meat products should be cooked at 160 degrees Fahrenheit, FSIS warns. The agency has published a list of recalled products, all of which show the number “EST. 2574B” on packaging.

For those eating at a restaurant, all ground meat should be ordered well-done.

S.C. Rhyne is a blogger and novelist in New York City. Follow the author on Twitter @ReporterandGirl, and visit her website at

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