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A few weeks ago, I wrote about the heartbreaking case of Stephanie Smith, a 22-year-old dance instructor in NYC who ended up paralyzed after eating a hamburger patty contaminated with E. Coli. Now fears are mounting to even higher levels, after 2 people died and 24 are seriously ill after consuming ground beef contaminated with E. coli.

The suspect beef was produced by a company in NY State, Fairbank Farms, which issued a recall last Saturday for 545,699 pounds of ground beef products. The products were sold in eight states including Connecticut, Maryland, Massachusetts, New Jersey, New York, North Carolina, Pennsylvania, and Virginia. The stores that received the meat included Trader Joe’s, Giant, Price Chopper, Wild Harvest, and Shaw’s.

While the recall was voluntary, Agnes Schafer, the spokeswoman for Fairbank Farms, argues that no tests have yet proven that the company’s beef products were the source of the bacterial outbreak or the cause of the deaths and illnesses. Furthermore, Ms. Schafer also states that all of the beef products were 23 to 32 days past their sell-by dates and shouldn’t have been on store shelves anyway. Nevertheless, health officials are concerned that people may still have the meat in their freezers, waiting to be eaten.

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