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Topps Meat Company is recalling frozen hamburger patties and other items due to potential contamination with E. coli. E. coli can cause food poisoning and is sometimes fatal. 25 people have reported falling ill after eating the recalled meat. Over 21 million pounds of meat are included in the recall.

The recall, by the Topps Meat Company of Elizabeth, N.J., covers a wide range of frozen hamburger patties and other products manufactured over the last year and bearing a “sell by” date or “best used by” date between last Tuesday and Sept. 25, 2008, along with the United States Department of Agriculture designation EST 9748.

The voluntary recall, an expanded version of one issued last Tuesday for nearly 332,000 pounds of Topps beef, was the first in the 67-year history of Topps, one of the nation’s largest meat processing concerns. It was also one of the larger meat recalls of recent years, the Agriculture Department’s Food Safety Inspection Service said.

Symptoms of food poisoning by E. coli include bloody diarrhea and dehydration. If you believe that you have eaten the recalled meat and are experiencing any symptoms you should contact your doctor right away.

If you would like to learn more about food poisoning, please visit InjuryBoard’s Food Poisoning information page.

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