"Meat companies and grocers have been barred from selling ground beef tainted by the virulent strain of E. coli known as O157:H7 since 1994, after an outbreak at Jack in the Box restaurants left four children dead. Yet tens of thousands of people are still sickened annually by this pathogen, federal health officials estimate, with hamburger being the biggest culprit. Ground beef has been blamed for 16 outbreaks in the last three years alone .... This summer, contamination led to the recall of beef from nearly 3,000 grocers in 41 states."
"E. Coli Path Shows Flaws in Beef Inspection"
Source: NYTimes, 10/06/2009