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The Topps Meat company has filed for bankruptcy and will liquidate the company. This action comes after a massive recall of frozen hamburger patties. The hamburger patties were contaminated with E. coli and 21.7 million pounds of meat were involved in the recall.

Topps recalled a year’s worth of production — 21.7 million pounds of frozen hamburgers — after some meat was found contaminated with E. coli O157:H7, a potentially fatal bacteria. To date, 40 people in eight states have been sickened after eating Topps beef, the Centers for Disease Control said.

In late October, the USDA said a now-defunct Canadian firm, Rancher’s Beef of Balzac, Alberta, was the likely source of bacteria-contaminated meat used by Topps.

The recall prompted the USDA to announce changes in how it will inspect meat plants. After being criticized for foot-dragging, the USDA also said it would move faster to encourage recalls. The agency cannot issue recalls.

The frozen hamburger patties were sold in stores across the United States. E. coli can be destroyed with proper cooking. An internal temperature of 160 degrees must be reached in the patty. E. coli can be fatal in some people.

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