Ohio health officials have confirmed the death of a 7-year old Cleveland girl due to an E. coli infection related to what is now a multi-state outbreak traced back to a troubled Illinois meatpacker.

Yesterday’s recall of 96,000 pounds of ground beef from Valley Meats LLC was not a first time offense for the Coal Valley, IL business that is known to the United States Department of Agriculture (USDA) as "Establishment 5712."

J&B Meats, listed on USDA records as the processor for Valley Meats, previously:

  • Recalled 63,000 pounds of ground beef on 6/26/02.
  • Recalled 76,000 pounds of ground beef on 8/23/03, and
  • Recalled 173,554 pounds of ground beef on 10/13/07.

Like the current recall, all the previous recalls from "Establishment 5712" were for E. coli contamination. Last time, consumer complaints led to the E. coli discovery. Before that it was the Wisconsin Health Department, and the first time, USDA didn’t say.

Both Valley Meats and J&B Meats operate out of 2302 First Street in Coal Valley, IL, sharing the same establishment number and same address and phone number in USDA’s files.  J&B also is one of the brand names listed in the Valley Meats recall.

So far three other Ohio illnesses have been linked to the E. coli strain: A three-year-old girl, a 24-year-old man and a 71-year-old man.  People are also believed to be sick in Pennsylvania and Illinois.  MSNBC has a story here.