(WXYZ) - The Michigan Department of Community Health and other local health authorities have confirmed that recent cases of E. coli across metro Detroit are linked to tainted ground beef.
Between April 22 and May 1 three individuals were hospitalized and an additional two were confirmed ill with E. coli.
Lab results confirmed the E. coli came from undercooked ground beef.
Health Departments in the following counties are investigating: Oakland, Livingston, Washtenaw, Kent and Ottawa.
All of the individuals reported eating ground beef at different restaurant locations.
Several local health departments are working with the Michigan Department of Agriculture and Rural Development and the United States Department of Agriculture (USDA) to find out where the tainted beef is coming from.
“E. coli O157 illnesses can be very serious or life-threatening, especially for young children, older adults, and people who are immunocompromised (sic),” said Dr. Matthew Davis, Chief Medical Executive at the MDCH.
Dr. Davis further explained how important it is to cook ground beef to the proper temperature to avoid E. coli illness. MDARD strongly suggests using a food thermometer to make sure ground beef is cooked to 160° F to kill harmful bacteria. Symptoms of E. coli include diarrhea, which can be bloody, and abdominal cramping.
The elderly, infants and those with weak immune systems are at a higher risk of serious complications.
Those who have consumed ground beef and are feeling these symptoms are urged to contact a health care provider to be tested for E. coli infection.