State officials say they're investigating an outbreak of illness that may be related to under-cooked ground beef. The departments of Agriculture and Community Health say five people have become sick and three have wound up in the hospital because of infections by E. coli bacteria. Some of the cases were reported in Ottawa and Kent counties in April and early May. The Department of Community Health says the infections appear to have a "common source," based on laboratory tests. It says the people who got sick all ate ground beef at several restaurants. State officials say they're working with the USDA to find out where the meat came from and where it was shipped.
State officials say none of those who've become ill have died or have life-threatening conditions. However, E.coli infections can cause potentially deadly consequences, especially for the very young and old as well as people with chronic illnesses.