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E. Coli Fears Spark Recall Of 1.8 Million Pounds Of Beef

Federal authorities say a recall has been issued for 1.8 million pounds of ground beef that was shipped for use in restaurants. Detroit company Wolverine Packing issued the recall Monday; the Department of Agriculture says the beef may be contaminated with E. coli O157:H7.

The USDA categorizes the recall as Class I, its most serious level, which means that there is "a reasonable probability that the use of the product will cause serious, adverse health consequences or death."

Investigators say at least 11 people have been made ill by the recalled products in Massachusetts, Michigan, Missouri and Ohio. The ground beef was shipped to distributors after being produced between March 31, 2014, and April 18, 2014 (the USDA has a full list of recalled products).

The first illnesses related to the recalled products were reported to federal officials on May 12. The USDA's food inspectors worked with the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention to trace it to Wolverine Packing.

The USDA "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."

Copyright 2021 NPR. To see more, visit https://www.npr.org.

Bill Chappell is a writer and editor on the News Desk in the heart of NPR's newsroom in Washington, D.C.
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