WASHINGTON — An outbreak of foodborne illness linked to E. coli O157:H7 in ground beef has resulted in 28 people becoming ill and may have caused two deaths in the U.S. Northeast, health officials said on Nov. 2.

On Oct. 31, Fairbank Farms, Ashville, N.Y., issued a voluntary recall for fresh ground-beef products sold in eight states. Approximately 545,699 lbs. of fresh ground beef product produced between Sept. 14 - Sept. 16 is suspected of being contaminated by E. coli O157:H7.

The U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention relayed all but three of the illnesses were in the Northeast and 18 were in the six New England states. Investigators continue to conduct tests to determine whether or not all of the reported cases can be linked to the same cause.

One death in New Hampshire was linked to the ground beef being recalled by Fairbank Farms of Ashville, New York, state health officials claim. State officials have not released information on the death in New Hampshire. A death in the Albany area from E. coli O157:H7 is under investigation to determine if it is linked, according to the New York State Health Department.