May 28, 2024

MI E. coli Outbreak Source is Likely Ground Beef, Officials Say

Ground beef is the likely source of an E.coli outbreak that has sickened five people in Michigan, health officials say. Three people have been hospitalized.

Ground Beef on PaperThe Michigan Departments of Community Health (MDCH) and Agriculture and Rural Development (MDARD) are working with local health departments in Kent, Livingston, Oakland, Ottawa, and Washtenaw counties to discover the source of the meat that likely caused the illness.

The five confirmed case of infection from Shiga-toxin producing E. coli O157  were all reported in adults between ages  of 20 and 41 who first became ill April 22 – May 1, 2014.  None of the case patients developed hemolytic uremic syndrome (HUS), a severe complication of E. coli infection that causes kidney failure and none of the cases has been fatal, officials said.

All five people who became ill said they ate undercooked ground beef at several different restaurants in multiple locations before they became ill. U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) is also working on the investigation to determine the source of the ground beef and how widely it was distributed.

E. coli O157 illnesses can be very serious or life-threatening, especially for young children, older adults, and people who are immunocompromised,” said Dr. Matthew Davis, Chief Medical Executive at the MDCH. “Whether you cook at home or order in a restaurant, ground meats, including ground beef, should always be cooked thoroughly to the proper temperature.”

Ground beef must be cooked to an internal temperature of 160° F. The only way to confirm that it has reached this temperature is with a food thermometer. The color of the meat is not a reliable indicator of doneness.

Some kinds of E. coli produce a Shiga toxin which causes illness. Symptoms, which include abdominal cramps or swelling and diarrhea that is often bloody, develop two to ten days after the contaminated food is eaten and last about a week. This illness can develop into a complication called hemolytic uremic syndrome (HUS), which can cause kidney failure, seizures, strokes, and death. Anyone who has these symptoms and has eaten ground beef recently should see a doctor and ask about being tested for an E. coli infection, health officials say.


  1. Gene Cox says

    I can’t imagine a restaurant serving undercooked ground meat, but the (ideots), do. Texas law is 155 for comminuted meats, and 160 is for sure safer

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