Two deaths and more than two dozen illnesses may be linked to fresh ground beef that has been recalled due to a possible E. coli contamination, health officials said Monday.

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention said twenty-eight people may have gotten ill after consuming beef produced by Fairbank Farms of Ashville, N.Y. A majority of the suspected infections are located in the northeastern half of the country, while 18 are in New England.

One of the reported deaths was an adult from Albany County in upstate New York, who apparently had several underlying medical conditions. The other person who died was from New Hampshire.

Fairbank Farms recalled nearly 546,000 pounds of fresh ground beef that had been sent to stores in September. According to health officials, the tainted meat had been sold in several different ways - including meatloaf and meatball mix to hamburger patties.

The meat was distributed to stores in Maryland, Massachusetts, North Carolina, New Jersey, New Jersey, New York, Pennsylvania and Virginia.

The USDA is urging people with concerns to contact the stores where they purchased the meat.

In a statement issued to PIX News, Trader Joe's said all of its ground beef items affiliated with the Fairbanks Farms recall did not test positive for any food-borne illness.

However, as a precaution, the grocery store chain has recalled the following types of ground beef: 85/15 Ground Beef, sku 90403 (Sell by Dates Oct 6 and 7, 2009), 80/20 Ground Beef , sku 90404 (Sell by Dates Oct 6 and 7, 2009), 96/4 Ground Beef Patty, sku 90405 (Sell by Dates Sept 27 and 28, 2009) and 85/15 Ground Beef Patty, sku 90406 (Sell by Dates Sept 27 and 28, 2009)

The above ground beef products were distributed to Massachusetts, Rhode Island, Connecticut, New York, New Jersey, Pennsylvania, Delaware, Maryland, Washington DC, Virginia and North Carolina.

Trader Joe's stores in the West, Midwest, Tennessee and Atlanta are not affected.