SEATTLE, WA (May 17, 2007) – Food safety is a hot topic these days. The New York Times and Wall Street Journal ran stories on the subject on Wednesday, May 16th, and CNN is airing a special on food safety both Saturday and Sunday, May 19th and 20th.
Most media attention geared toward food safety in recent months has focused on foodborne illness outbreaks traced to contaminated spinach, lettuce, and peanut butter. But Bill Marler, a Seattle attorney who exclusively represents victims of foodborne illness, says that dangers presented by contaminated meat products should not be forgotten or overlooked.
In the last two weeks, Minnesota, Wisconsin, and Michigan residents have been stricken with E. coli after eating contaminated ground beef. “It’s almost official grilling season, and although the meat industry has done a tremendous job of cleaning up and reducing the number of E. coli outbreaks traced to ground beef, E. coli contamination in meat products is a real danger,” Marler said.
Marler, who was recently retained by a Minnesota woman who became ill after eating E. coli-contaminated ground beef produced by Minnesota company PM Beef Holdings, has represented victims of E. coli outbreaks traced to ground beef, steaks, apple and orange juice, lettuce, spinach, sprouts, cantaloupe, and other foods. Marler’s firm, Marler Clark, currently represents over 100 victims of last year’s E. coli outbreaks traced to spinach and lettuce, nearly 5,000 victims of the recent Salmonella outbreak traced to contaminated peanut butter, and several victims of an E. coli outbreak traced to ground beef served at a church picnic in Longville, Minnesota, last summer, including the family of a woman who died.
“I think people will be shocked with what they learn from watching the CNN special,” Marler added. “Americans like the people featured in the special shouldn’t have to learn the hard way that the food supply isn’t as safe as they think it is. We should be able to trust that we’re putting on our tables and feeding our families is pathogen-free before it ever reaches our homes.”
Marler, a food safety advocate, recently joined clients on a trip to Washington, DC, where they participated in a hearing titled, “Diminished Capacity: Can the FDA Assure the Safety and Security of the Nation’s Food Supply?” He spends several days per month traveling around the country speaking on topics related to food safety and foodborne illness litigation through a non-profit consulting firm, OutBreak.