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E. Coli Outbreak Traced to Company That Halted Testing of Ground Beef

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A deadly outbreak of E. coli has been traced to a large producer of ground beef that stopped testing its ingredients years ago under pressure from beef suppliers.The outbreak has fueled a growing concern among grocers that not enough is being done to protect their customers.

The United States Department of Agriculture, which banned the deadly E. coli strain known as 0157:H7 in 1994, has encouraged — but does not require — meat companies to test their products for the pathogen. In the absence of such a rule, meat companies have adopted varied practices.

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