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At least six states are recalling beef from National Steak and Poultry of Oklahoma because they may be contaminated, according to federal health inspectors.

A cluster of illnesses involving E. coli bacteria was reported in Colorado, Iowa Kansas, Michigan, South Dakota and Washington State.

E. coli is a common bacterium normally found in humans but some strains such as E. coli 0157:H7 causes food-borne illnesses affecting some 73,000 Americans every year and killing about 61.

The cases then were linked with beef the Owasso, Oklahoma, company produced in October, prompting the government to direct a Class I recall, indicating the highest risk of illness if the products are consumed.

The company initiated a voluntary recall of 248,000 pounds of beef products marketed under its name as well as under Moe’s Beef Steak and Carino’s Boneless Beef.

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