State traces E. coli cluster to tainted beef


The Michigan Departments of Community Health and Agriculture and Rural Development say recent E. coli-related illnesses likely were caused by consuming undercooked ground beef.

State officials are investigating the E. coli cluster with local health departments in Kent, Livingston, Oakland, Ottawa, and Washtenaw counties.

Five confirmed Shiga-toxin producing E. coli O157 illnesses have been reported in adults between the ages of 20-41 between April 22 - May 1. Three individuals have been hospitalized.

No individuals have developed hemolytic uremic syndrome (HUS), a severe complication of E. coli O157 infection, and no deaths have been reported.

Investigators believe the ill individuals ate undercooked meat a multiple restaurants in different locations. 

"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."

The Department of Agriculture and Rural Development advises only eating meat that has been cooked to an internal temperature of 160 degrees.