Header graphic for print

Food Poison Journal

Food Poisoning Outbreaks and Litigation: Surveillance and Analysis

New Hampshire E. coli Outbreak Stands at 14 with 5 Hospitalized

The U.S. Department of Agriculture conducted an investigation into the Escherichia coliO157:H7 (E. coli) outbreak related to ground beef that the New Hampshire Department of Health and Human Services (DHHS), Division of Public Health Services (DPHS) announced last week. As a result of their findings the USDA Food Safety and Inspection Service (FSIS) has issued a recall of approximately 8,800 pounds of raw ground beef products produced by PT Farm, LLC, of North Haverhill, NH, between June 6 and June 16, 2016.

There have now been 14 cases of illness associated with tainted ground beef in this outbreak investigation. These individuals became ill between June 17 and July 16, 2016 after consuming ground beef at a number of different locations. Among the 14 cases, 5 hospitalizations and no deaths have been reported.

“We are grateful that the USDA quickly investigated this situation and took swift action to help us protect the health of the people who may have purchased this ground beef,” said Marcella Bobinsky, Acting Director of Public Health at DHHS. “While the source of this outbreak has been identified, it is still important that consumers always avoid eating under-cooked ground beef whether at home or at a restaurant. E. coli can be a very serious illness especially for young children and people with compromised immune systems. We will continue to monitor for cases related to this recall.”

The specific retail locations where the beef was distributed are expected to be posted in the coming days: http://www.fsis.usda.gov/wps/portal/fsis/topics/recalls-and-public-health-alerts/current-recalls-and-alerts. The recall includes the following items:

  • Various weights and various sizes of raw intact and raw non-intact “Chestnut Farms” beef products packed in cardboard boxes.
  • Various weights and various sizes of raw intact and raw non-intact “PT Farm” beef products packed in cardboard boxes.
  • Various weights and various sizes of raw intact and raw non-intact “Miles Smith Farm” beef products packed in cardboard boxes.
  • Various weights and various sizes of raw intact and raw non-intact “Robie Farm” beef products packed in cardboard boxes.

Marler Clark, The Food Safety Law Firm, is the nation’s leading law firm representing victims of E. coli outbreaks and hemolytic uremic syndrome (HUS). The E. coli lawyers of Marler Clark have represented thousands of victims of E. coli and other foodborne illness infections and have recovered over $600 million for clients. Marler Clark is the only law firm in the nation with a practice focused exclusively on foodborne illness litigation.  Our E. coli lawyers have litigated E. coli and HUS cases stemming from outbreaks traced to ground beef, raw milk, lettuce, spinach, sprouts, and other food products.  The law firm has brought E. coli lawsuits against such companies as Jack in the Box, Dole, ConAgra, Cargill, and Jimmy John’s.  We have proudly represented such victims as Brianne Kiner, Stephanie Smith and Linda Rivera.

If you or a family member became ill with an E. coli infection or HUS after consuming food and you’re interested in pursuing a legal claim, contact the Marler Clark E. coli attorneys for a free case evaluation.

Ranch Foods Direct Likely Link to E. coli Outbreak

usda-fsisGood Food Concepts, LLC, doing business as Ranch Foods Direct, a Colorado Springs, Colo. establishment, is recalling approximately 2,606 pounds of non-intact beef products that may be contaminated with E. coli O157:H7, the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s Food Safety and Inspection Service (FSIS) announced today.

The non-intact beef items were produced on June 6, 7, and 8, 2016. The following products are subject to recall: [Labels (PDF Only)]

  • Packages containing “Callicrate Beef Ground Beef: Beef 4-1 Ground Beef Patties 15# case.”
  • Packages containing “Callicrate Beef Ground Beef: Beef 4-1 Ground Beef Patties 5# box.”
  • Packages containing “Callicrate Beef Ground Beef: Beef 3-1 Ground Beef Patties 5# box.”
  • Packages containing “Callicrate Beef Ground Beef: Beef 2-1 Ground Beef Patties 15# case.”
  • 1-lb. packages containing “Callicrate Beef Ground Beef: Beef Ground Beef 85% 1#.”
  • 1-lb. packages containing “Callicrate Beef Ground Beef: Beef Ground Beef 80% 1#.”
  • 1-lb. packages containing “Callicrate Beef Ground Beef: Beef Ground Beef Sirloin 90% 1#.”
  • Packages containing “Callicrate Beef Ground Beef: Beef Ground Beef 85/15 1# x 20 Bundle.”
  • Packages containing “Callicrate WAGYU Beef Ground Beef: WAGYU Ground Beef 1#.”
  • 1-lb. packages containing “Beef Stew Meat Tenderized.”
  • Packages containing “Ranch Foods Direct Ground Beef 85/15.”
  • Packages containing “Ranch Foods Direct Ground Beef 80/20.”
  • Packages containing “Ranch Foods Direct Ground Chuck.”
  • Packages containing “Ranch Foods Direct 80% Lean 20% Fat 3/1 Patties NET WT. 15#.”
  • Packages containing “Ranch Foods Direct 80% Lean 20% Fat 2/1 Patties 7 OZ NET WT. 15#.”
  • Packages containing “Ranch Foods Direct 80% Lean 20% Fat 3/1 Patties NET WT. 5.0#.”
  • Packages containing “Ranch Foods Direct 80% Lean 20% Fat 4/1 Patties NET WT. 15#.”
  • Packages containing “Ranch Foods Direct 80% Lean 20% Fat 2/1 Patties NET WT. 15#.”
  • Packages containing “Ranch Foods Direct 80% Lean 20% Fat 6/1 Patties NET WT. 15#.”
  • Packages containing “Ranch Foods Direct Ground Beef (73/27).”
  • Packages containing “Ranch Foods Direct Ground Tenderloin.”
  • Products identified as “Cowpool D 1/4.”
  • Products identified as “Cowpool A 1/8.”
  • Packages containing “Chef’s Bundle: 4-Skirt Steak, 6- NY Strips, 6-Top Sirloin, 3-Chuck Roast, 2-Cube Steak, 15-Ground Beef 80% Lean 20% Fat.”
  • Packages containing “Colorado Bundle: 4-Skirts Steaks, 4-Chuck Eye Steaks, 4-Top Sirloin, 2-Chuck Roast, 15-Ground Beef 80% Lean 20% Fat.”

The products subject to recall bear establishment number “EST. 27316” inside the USDA mark of inspection and “PACKED ON” dates of June 6, 7, and 8, 2016. These items were shipped to wholesale and retail locations in Colorado.

FSIS was notified of an E. coli O157:H7 illness possibly associated with ground beef consumption on July 14, 2016. Working in conjunction with the Colorado Department of Public Health and Environment and the El Paso County Public Health Department, FSIS determined that there is a possible link between the ground beef products from Ranch Foods Direct and this illness. Based on epidemiological investigation, one case-patient has been identified in Colorado with an illness onset date of June 12, 2016. FSIS confirmed ground beef products originating from Ranch Foods Direct were adulterated with E. coli O157:H7 on July 25, 2016 through laboratory testing and traceback investigation. FSIS continues to work with the Colorado Department of Public Health and Environment and the El Paso County Public Health Department on this investigation and provides updated information as it becomes available.

E. coli O157:H7 is a potentially deadly bacterium that can cause dehydration, bloody diarrhea and abdominal cramps 1–10 days (3–4 days, on average) after exposure the organism. While most people recover within a week, some develop a type of kidney failure called hemolytic uremic syndrome (HUS). This condition can occur among persons of any age but is most common in children under 5-years old and older adults. It is marked by easy bruising, pallor, and decreased urine output. Persons who experience these symptoms should seek emergency medical care immediately.

FSIS and the company are concerned that some product may be frozen and in consumers’ freezers.

Consumers who have purchased these products are urged not to consume them. These products should be thrown away or returned to the place of purchase.

FSIS Recalls New Hampshire Hamburger After 14 With E. coli

419717103_41944877e7PT Farm, LLC, a North Haverhill, N.H. establishment, is recalling approximately 8,800 pounds of raw beef products that may be contaminated with E. coli O157:H7, the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s Food Safety and Inspection Service (FSIS) announced today.

The raw, intact and non-intact beef product items (ground beef, ground beef patties and other sub-primal cuts) were produced between June 6 and June 16, 2016. The following products are subject to recall:

  • Various weights and various sizes of raw intact and raw non-intact “Chestnut Farms” beef products packed in cardboard boxes.
  • Various weights and various sizes of raw intact and raw non-intact “PT Farm” beef products packed in cardboard boxes.
  • Various weights and various sizes of raw intact and raw non-intact “Miles Smith Farm” beef products packed in cardboard boxes.
  • Various weights and various sizes of raw intact and raw non-intact “Robie Farm” beef products packed in cardboard boxes.

The products subject to recall bear establishment number “M8868” inside the USDA mark of inspection. These items were shipped to retail locations and for institutional use in Maine, Massachusetts, New Hampshire and Vermont.

FSIS was notified of an E. coli O157:H7 illness cluster on July 20, 2016. Working in conjunction with the New Hampshire Department of Health and Human Services, FSIS determined that there is a link between the beef products from PT Farm and this illness cluster. Based on epidemiological investigation, 14 case-patients have been identified with illness onset dates ranging from June 15 to July 10, 2016. Traceback for 8 case-patients for whom data was available led back to a single day of production at PT Farm. This investigation is ongoing. FSIS continues to work with the New Hampshire Department of Health and Human Services on this investigation and will provide updated information as it becomes available.

E. coli O157:H7 is a potentially deadly bacterium that can cause dehydration, bloody diarrhea and abdominal cramps 2–8 days (3–4 days, on average) after exposure the organism. While most people recover within a week, some develop a type of kidney failure called hemolytic uremic syndrome (HUS). This condition can occur among persons of any age but is most common in children under 5-years old and older adults. It is marked by easy bruising, pallor, and decreased urine output. Persons who experience these symptoms should seek emergency medical care immediately.

FSIS and the company are concerned that some product may be frozen and in consumers’ freezers.

Consumers who have purchased these products are urged not to consume them. These products should be thrown away or returned to the place of purchase.

Oahu Hepatitis A Outbreak Spikes to Nearly 100

doh-largeThe Hawaii Department of Health (HDOH) is investigating a cluster of hepatitis A infections on Oahu.  HDOH staff are conducting interviews with the cases in an effort to identify the source of infection.

Identifying the source of infection continues to be a challenge because of the long incubation period of the disease and the difficulty patients have in accurately recalling the foods consumed and locations visited during the period when infection could have taken place.

Healthcare providers have been informed and are asked to notify HDOH immediately if they have a patient they suspect may be infected.

Individuals who are interested in being vaccinated should contact their healthcare providers.

As of July 26, 2016*:Since the last update, HDOH has identified 19 new cases of hepatitis A.  All cases have been in adults, 29 have required hospitalization.

All of the cases were on Oahu during their exposure period. Four individuals now live on the islands of Hawaii, Kauai, and Maui.

CONFIRMED CASES OF HEPATITIS A
93

Onset of illness has ranged between 6/12/16 – 7/19/16.

Unvaccinated contacts of cases should talk to their healthcare providers about the possibility of receiving hepatitis A vaccine or immune globulin, which may provide some protection against the disease if administered within the first two weeks after exposure.

A contact is defined as:

  • All unvaccinated household members
  • All unvaccinated sexual contacts
  • Anyone sharing illicit drugs with a case
  • Anyone sharing food or eating or drinking utensils with a case
  • Anyone consuming ready-to-eat foods prepared by an infectious food handler with diarrhea or poor hygiene

Note: A food handler is any person who directly prepares, serves, or handles food.

Unvaccinated food handlers who are contacts of cases must have a negative hepatitis A IgM test before they return to work.

An employee of the following food service business(es) has been diagnosed with hepatitis A. This list does notindicate these businesses are sources of this outbreak; at this time, no infections have been linked to exposure to these businesses. The likelihood that patrons of these businesses will become infected is very low. However, persons who have consumed food or drink products from these businesses during the identified dates of service should contact their healthcare provider for advice and possible preventive care.

Establishment Island Location Dates of Service
Baskin-Robbins Oahu Waikele Center June 17, 18, 19, 21, 22, 25, 27, 30, and July 1 and 3, 2016
Sushi Shiono Hawaii Waikoloa Beach Resort, Queen’s MarketPlace (69-201 Waikoloa Beach Drive) July 5-8, 11-15, and 18-21, 2016
Taco Bell Oahu Waipio (94-790 Ukee Street) June 16, 17, 20, 21, 24, 25, 28, 29, 30, and July 1, 3, 4, 6, 7, and 11, 2016

 

Hepatitis A:  Marler Clark, The Food Safety Law Firm, is the nation’s leading law firm representing victims of Hepatitis A outbreaks. The Hepatitis A lawyers of Marler Clark have represented thousands of victims of Hepatitis A and other foodborne illness outbreaks and have recovered over $600 million for clients.  Marler Clark is the only law firm in the nation with a practice focused exclusively on foodborne illness litigation.  Our Hepatitis A lawyers have litigated Hepatitis A cases stemming from outbreaks traced to a variety of sources, such as green onions, lettuce and restaurant food.  The law firm has brought Hepatitis A lawsuits against such companies as Subway, McDonald’s, Chipotle, Quiznos and Carl’s Jr.

If you or a family member became ill with a Hepatitis A infection after consuming food and you’re interested in pursuing a legal claim, contact the Marler Clark Hepatitis A attorneys for a free case evaluation.