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E. coli Illnesses Spark Ground Beef Recall

Just days before Memorial Day weekend – which traditionally marks the kickoff of summer grilling season  – Detroit-based Wolverine Packing Co. is recalling approximately 1.8 million pounds of ground beef products that may be contaminated with E. coli O157:H7.

Although the products were originally reported to have been shipped to restaurant distributors in a handful of states, the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s Food Safety and Inspection Service (FSIS) said on Tuesday upon further investigation that it now believes they were sent to distribution centers nationwide.

No retail supermarkets are affected by the recall, which pertains to ground beef produced between March 31, 2014, and April 18, 2014, a full list of which appears here.

The products subject to recall bear the establishment number “EST. 2574B” and have a production date code in the format “Packing Nos: MM DD 14” between “03 31 14” and “04 18 14.”

FSIS was notified of E. coli O157:H7 illnesses on May 12. Working in conjunction with public health partners from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), FSIS determined through a traceback investigation that there is a link between the ground beef products from Wolverine Packing and this illness cluster. Based on epidemiological and traceback investigations, 11 cases of illness have been confirmed in four states, with onset dates ranging from April 22 to May 2.

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