ELIZABETH, N.J. — Topps Meat Co., one of the nation’s largest suppliers of frozen beef patties, announced on Friday that it was shutting down its operations. The announcement came six days after the company issued a recall for 21.7 million pounds of product following an E. coli outbreak that sickened 30 people in eight states. The recall was the second largest in U.S. history to date, and encompassed an entire year of production from Topps, according to published reports. Officials from both Topps and the U.S. Department of Agriculture have said that most of the recalled product has likely been eaten already, but the USDA has encouraged consumers to check products in their freezer, regardless. The illnesses have led to at least two lawsuits filed against Topps — one seeking class-action status — and one suit against Wal-Mart, which, along with several other food retailers, sold product made by Topps.
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