20-year-old Stephanie Smith has woken from nine weeks in a medically-induced coma shortly before Christmas. Smith became ill with an E. coli infection in September after eating a contaminated hamburger, and has since been hospitalized with hemolytic uremic syndrome.

On October 6, 2007, Cargill Meat Solutions Corporation announced that it was recalling approximately 845,000 pounds of frozen ground beef patties for possible E. coli O157:H7 contamination. The recall was initiated after three people in Minnesota tested positive for E. coli and a joint investigation by the Minnesota Department of Health and Minnesota Department of Agriculture identified the Cargill hamburger patties as the source of the illnesses.

The Cargill products were sold at retail establishments and to restaurants and other institutions. Sam’s Club announced that it was pulling the potentially E. coli-contaminated ground beef patties produced by Cargill from its store shelves nationwide on October 5th.