The same strain of E. coli bacteria that sickened more than two dozen children who had visited a water park was found in beef recalled by a Florida supplier.
"What this means to us is that this beef could have been the way the organism that caused the outbreak got into Georgia, although we'll never know for sure," Georgia's top epidemiologist, Dr. Paul Blake, said Wednesday.
The outbreak in June was apparently caused when a youngster in diapers had an accident in the kiddie pool at a water park in suburban Atlanta. A 2-year-old died after experiencing kidney failure and other complications.
In May, Bauer Meat Co. recalled 37,500 pounds of patties supplied to Georgia, North Carolina and overseas military installations after a boy became ill from a school cafeteria hamburger.