GEORGIA — Health officials say 196 people across 10 states have been sickened by a strain of E. coli that is believed to have come from ground beef, and all of it may not have been recalled. Two companies have recalled thousands of pounds of meat — including one in Georgia — and authorities warn more contaminated meat may still be on the market or in people’s freezers.

Escherichia coli, abbreviated as E. coli, are bacteria found in the environment, food and intestines of people and animals. While most strains are harmless, others can cause intestinal infections that result in severe abdominal pain, diarrhea (sometimes bloody), nausea, vomiting and dehydration.

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