The CDC now says that two deaths and 26 other illnesses may be linked to contaminated ground beef recalled by Fairbank Farms.  Lola Scott Russell, a spokeswoman for the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, says one of the deaths involved a New York adult with several underlying health conditions. The other is a death previously reported by New Hampshire officials.

She says all but three of the suspected E. coli infections are in the northeastern U.S. and 18 are in New England. The CDC is investigating all the cases.  Ashville, N.Y.-based Fairbank Farms recalled almost 546,000 pounds of fresh ground beef that may be tainted with E. coli bacteria. The meat was distributed in September to stores from Virginia to Maine.