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The Department of Agriculture has issued a 'Class One' recall of nearly 100,000 pounds of contaminated ground beef products from an Illinois meat producer.

According to the USDA's Food Safety and Inspection Services (FSIS), the beef was produced by Valley Meats LLC of Coal Valley, Ill., on March 10 and was distributed nationwide.

FSIS was informed by the Ohio Department of Health after concerns were raised when a number of E. coli O157:H7 infections were reported. Other cases have been confirmed in Pennsylvania and Illinois.

The E. Coli strain in question is a potentially deadly bacterium that can cause dehydration, bloody diarrhea and even kidney failure. The most prone to illness are the very young, seniors and those with weak immune systems.

Each product from Valley Meats bears the establishment number "EST. 5712" inside the USDA mark of inspection.

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Individuals concerned about an illness related to this recall should immediately contact a physician.

For general questions concerning the recall, virtual representatives from FSIS are available 24 hours a day at or, you can call the USDA Meat and Poultry Hotline toll-free at 1-888-674-6854 from l0 a.m. to 4 p.m. EST Monday through Friday.

•    Source: USDA, Ohio Department of Health

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