The Manchester Health Department found E. coli bacteria in ground beef that a family says they purchased at the Stop & Shop supermarket at 777 South Willow St.

The ground beef nearly killed the son of John and Christina Tsirovakas, who have filed a lawsuit against the grocery store chain. In response, Stop & Shop officials have said they do not believe the family’s meat was contaminated at the store.

The ground beef, which had been kept in a freezer by the Tsirovakas family until being turned over to the state, tested posititve for E. coli.

Tim Soucy, director of environmental health with the city Health Department, said inspectors found two critical violations at Stop & Shop in responding on Sept. 21 to the family’s claims.

One violation describes an employee grinding meat and then leaving the area without changing cloth gloves and washing hands as required. A dolley parked in front of the grind room’s hand sink was cited as another violation.