In April of 1979, people in the Soviet city of Sverdlovsk began falling mysteriously ill: fevers, coughs, vomiting. At least 66 people died. When officials came 1,000 miles from Moscow to investigate, they concluded the victims had fallen ill from eating cattle infected with anthrax.
It was not contaminated meat.
It was an accident at a clandestine biological weapons lab that allowed deadly anthrax spores to contaminate Sverdlovsk’s air, as evidence unearthed later would show.