(WNBC) — More than 5 million more pounds of raw beef products have been added to a national recall over concerns about possible salmonella contamination, and the number of people sickened has soared to 246 patients in 26 states, federal officials said Tuesday.

The initial recall announced by the U.S. Food Safety and Inspection Service in early October included 6.5 million pounds of raw beef products. The addition Tuesday brings the total recalled amount to 12,093,271 pounds, and authorities say they’re concerned it could be in consumers’ freezers.

The number of those sickened has increased drastically in recent weeks. Initially it was around 60 people in 16 states. Tuesday’s recall marks a more than four-fold increase in the number of cases in two months; nearly 60 people have been hospitalized as a result of the current outbreak.

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