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WASHINGTON - The number of people with illnesses related to contaminated beef produced by ConAgra Foods Inc. rose to at least 26 in five states, state and federal health officials said on Monday. The U.S. Centers for Disease Control (CDC) told Reuters yesterday it had confirmed illnesses in Colorado, South Dakota, Michigan, Washington and Wyoming.
ConAgra on Friday launched the nation's second-largest recall of ground beef, almost 19 million pounds, after the U.S. Agriculture Department said meat from the company's Colorado plant may be contaminated with the deadly bacteria E. coli O157:H7.
Safeway, Kroger, Wal-Mart, and Food Lion were among the chains that pulled food products from their shelves in reaction to the recall. The recalled beef was produced at ConAgra's Greeley, Colorado, plant between April 12 and July 11 and sold nationwide.
The label on all recalled meat bears the code "EST. 969" inside the USDA seal of inspection. Consumers should return the meat to a grocery store or discard it.
Further recall information is available on USDA's website at http://www.usda.gov and by calling 866-849-7438.