Where's the recalled beef? Health Dept. says it can't name names

Rhode Island Department of Health

The Rhode Island Department of Health said Wednesday that it can't name the places that received recalled ground beef because it's essentially sworn to secrecy.

Wolverine Packing Co. in Michigan is recalling about 1.8 million pounds of ground beef products that may be contaminated with the bacteria E. coli.

The Rhode Island Department of Health said at least 128 facilities in the state, including a school, nursing homes and restaurants, got the meat.

But a state health official said the department can't release the list where the ground beef was distributed for legal reasons.

"Here the distributor shared the information with us but specifically told us very clearly that this is proprietary confidential information not to be shared," said Ernest Julian, chief of the Office of Food Protection.

Julian said it's a fight the U.S. Food and Drug Administration has fought with food processors for years.

The Health Department discretely contacted all 128 locations and made sure they sent the beef back to Michigan.

With Memorial Day weekend coming up, the Health Department wants everyone to thoroughly cook their burgers.

Chef Peter Kelly at Johnson and Wales University says it only takes a few minutes to cook and check the burger is at least 160 degrees Fahrenheit.