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PANEL TO FOCUS ON BEEF SUPPLY SAFETY

Nebraska has moved to ease public concern about the nation's beef supply after a series of recent bacteria scares by establishing a task force to ensure greater food safety.

The committee of scientists, industry representatives and food-safety experts will target education and scientific research into the deadly E.coli bacteria, Gov. Benjamin Nelson said late Monday.

Two Nebraska processing plants have had major ground beef recalls in the last two months because of suspected E.coli contamination, which can cause deadly food poisoning.

An estimated 10,000 to 20,000 Americans become infected by the virulent strain of E.coli each year and about 250 die, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

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