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Tainted Ground Beef Warning From USDA

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Two deaths and 26 other illnesses may be linked to fresh ground beef that has been recalled because it might be contaminated with E. coli bacteria.

Fairbank Farms, a NY based company, recalled more than 500,000 pounds of fresh ground beef that was distributed in September. The U.S. Department of Agriculture says the possibly tainted meat has been sold in various forms from meatloaf and meatball mix to hamburger patties, and under a variety of labels from North Carolina to Maine including Virginia and Maryland.

Some of the ground beef was sold at Trader Joe's, Price Chopper, Lancaster, Wild Harvest, Shaw's, BJ's, Ford Brothers and Giant stores in packages that carried the number "EST. 492" on the label. Those products were packaged Sept. 15-16 and may have been labeled with a sell-by date from Sept. 19 through Sept. 28, meaning they're no longer being sold as fresh product in supermarkets, Fairbank Farms said.

The rest of the ground beef, packaged in wholesale-sized containers under the Fairbank Farms name, was distributed to stores in Maryland, Massachusetts, North Carolina, New Jersey, New York, Pennsylvania and Virginia. That meat was likely repackaged for sale and would likely have differing package and sell-by dates.

The USDA is urging customers with concerns to contact the stores where they bought the meat.

Meymo Lyons reports...

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