The state's Department of Health and Human Services announced Saturday that one person in New Hampshire has died from ground beef contaminated with E. coli and two other residents were hospitalized. It was the first reported death associated with a recall of more than 500,000 pounds of contaminated ground beef from Fairbanks Farms of Ashville, N.Y.

These products were packaged between Sept. 15-16 and may have been labeled with sell-by dates

from Sept. 19 through 28. The concern is that people have put this meat in their freezer.

The affected meat from Fairbank Farms was distributed locally to Shaw's, Price Chopper and BJ's and may have the name of the store or a generic name on the label. It has a ticket on the meat package that reads "EST 492."

"We recommend that people call the store where they purchased the beef to check as the labels may be difficult to read," said Beth Daly, an epidemiologist with DHHS.

"If they experience illness, we recommend they contact their own health care provider."

Symptoms of E. coli illness include fever, abdominal cramps, and diarrhea. Most people recover within 10 days but a small percentage of people become extremely ill, with symptoms including hemolytic uremic syndrome (HUS), which is characterized by the destruction of red blood cells and kidney failure. Most people recover from HUS but it can be fatal.

"E. coli is a bacteria that produces a toxin that is potentially deadly to people, especially young children and seniors," said Public Health Director Jose Montero.

"People should prepare all meat products safely and cook to a proper temperature to prevent illness. For this recall people should check their freezers for any affected products and throw them away."

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