More than 22 million pounds of beef continues to worry health officials. The beef may be infected with a virus that has already made 25 people ill across eight states. Another scare for consumers when it comes to food safety. Many are concerned that e-coli in Topp's hamburger meat started making people sick in mid august but the first recall wasn't issued until six weeks later. Jean Halloran with the Consumers' Union said, "We don't understand why it took so long to recall this meat. If there was a victim in August it should have been revealed weeks ago." When the first recall went out last Tuesday only a small amount of hamburger was recalled, but after investigators paid another visit to the plant this weekend the recall was expanded by more than 600 times to nearly 22 million pounds of frozen hamburger meat. Fifteen-year-old Samantha Safranek was one of at least 25 people sickened in 8 states from eating the contaminated meat. She said, "It almost cost my life and I was just scared the whole time, just thinking if I was even going to make it -- and I didn't want a silly burger just to kill me." The hamburgers were made by Topps Meat of Elizabeth, New Jersey in late June and July. Critics say there wouldn't be any surprises if the USDA required every batch of processed meat to be tested. If you have any of the recalled meat you are advised to throw it away. The "sell-by" date is between last Tuesday and September 25, 2008 and the package number is 9748.
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