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The U.S. Food Safety and Inspection Service announced on Friday that a Canadian meatpacker was the probable source of the Topps large beef recall last month. DNA beef fingerprints had led the F.S.I.S. to the conclusion that Ranchers Beef Ltd of Balzac, Alberta was the source of the contagion.

According to media reports, over 100 cases of E. coli illness have been reported in both Canada and the U.S. because of ingestion of the contaminated beef. The F.S.I.S. urged food preparers not to use Ranchers Beef boneless beef trim just as the group was removed from an approved list of beef exporters.

E. coli bacteria can cause serious stomach illness, especially in young children, the elderly, and the immunosuppressed. Infection with E. coli usually leads to diarrhea, stomach cramping, and sometimes hospitalization and death. Most people do recover within a week of becoming infected.

The outbreak of E. coli in the U.S. led to a huge recall of over 21 million pounds of beef last month, ultimately causing the Topps Meat Company to go out of business.

For more information on this subject, please refer to the section on Defective and Dangerous Products.

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