hamburger cheeseIt's like clockwork. It's been, oh, a few months since we've heard of a ground beef recall, so guess we're due for another! The latest to sweep the nation has sickened at least 16 people in five states, according to federal health officials. They all came down with salmonella food poisoning linked to ground beef. 

Thankfully, no one has died, but half of those affected were hospitalized. Most of the illnesses reported were in Michigan, though others occurred in Arizona, Illinois, Iowa, and Wisconsin.

The origin of the toxic beef?

Reportedly, up to nine people ate a dish made with raw ground beef called kibbeh last month at a suburban Detroit restaurant that wasn't identified. Kibbeh is typically a mix of bulgur, minced onions, and cooked ground red meat, usually beef, lamb, or goat.

The meat in the dish -- and that has affected the 16 or more who have gotten sick -- must have come from more than 1,000 pounds of ground beef produced by two Michigan-based businesses, Gab Halal Foods in Troy and Jouni Meats in Sterling Heights, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. The USDA offers more details here and here.

Nonetheless, it's not clear where in the process -- meat processor, Jouni's store, or a restaurant in which the meat was sold -- the contamination occurred, said Jennifer Holton, spokeswoman for the Michigan Department of Agriculture and Rural Development.

Here's hoping they get to the bottom of it, though, because there's no excuse for these perpetual outbreaks -- whether it's affecting 16 people or 160.

Are you freaked out by ground beef recalls like this one?

 

Image via pointnshoot/Flickr