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Quality control microbiologist Kim Egger inspects a bacteria culture taken from ground meat processed at the Excel slaughterhouse in Schuyler, Neb., in this June 2000 file photo. In the summer months, as many as one in every two cows processed at the Excel plant carry the deadly E. Coli 0157:H7 bacteria, but before the meat reaches consumers, it is put through a state-of-the-art system of scrubbing, washes, rinses and steam-pasteurization designed to remove most, if not all, of the bacteria.

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