The Massachusetts Department of Public Health on Monday confirmed that a Western Massachusetts resident has E. coli, according to MassLive. That case, along with others across the country, has prompted Wolverine Packing Company and the US Department of Agriculture to recall 1.8 million pounds of beef.
The beef produced between March 31 and April 18 and distributed for use in restaurants in Ohio, Michigan, Missouri and Massachusetts. The recall notice notes that none of the beef in question was distributed to the Department of Defense, the National School Lunch Program or for catalog or internet sales.
Products that are subject to are marked with the 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."
The recall was ordered after the Massachusetts resident, along with five Michiganders, four Ohioans and a Missourian became ill with E. coli. Though several strains of E. coli are harmless to humans, this case involves the dangerous strain o157:H7. From the USDA’s Food Safety and Inspection Service announcement:
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 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.
The USDA recommends cooking ground beef to 160 degrees to kill any harmful bacteria in ground beef. The USDA also released this list of recalled Wolverine products.