The latest numbers bring the total sick to 55, with 10 hospitalized after eating food at customer appreciation picnic July 3 at Neff’s Lawn Care. The number of those hospitalized has increased to 10.  Health officials estimated that 200-300 people attended the picnic.  Hopefully, no one else becomes ill and those that are ill make a speedy recovery.  Here are five things to think about for your next picnic:

Meat_Thermometer.jpg1.  Use a food thermometer to check that meats and poultry are hot enough to kill any harmful bacteria. Minimum safe internal temperatures are:

  • hamburgers (ground meats and sausages, including pork sausages): 160º F
  • steaks and other beef, veal, lamb, fish and shellfish: 145º F
  • poultry: 165º F
  • pork (except pork sausage): 145º F

2.  After cooking meat or chicken on the grill, keep it at 140º F or warmer until serving. If reheating fully cooked items such as baked beans or hot potato salad, head to 165º F.

3.  If you are using a cooler, keep it out of the sun and avoid opening it too often so it stays as cool as possible inside. Keep cold foods at 41º F or colder at all times.

4.  Don’t cut vegetables or other ready-to-eat foods on the same cutting board as chicken or meat without thoroughly cleaning the knife and the cutting board first. Our recommendation for picnics, where proper washing facilities are not available, is to bring two separate cutting boards – one for meat, chicken, and fish, and the other for vegetables and other ready-to-eat foods.  Don’t put cooked meat or poultry on the same platter that held the raw food.

5.  Wash your hands thoroughly before cooking, after touching raw meat, fish, or chicken, and especially after visiting the bathroom.

This advise brought to you by 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.  Cases that have involved residents of Ohio over the last decades include:

ConAgra Ground Beef E. coli Outbreak Lawsuits – Nationwide (2002)

Cuyahoga County E. coli outbreak – Ohio (2009)

Dole Spinach E. coli Outbreak Lawsuits – Nationwide (2006)

Freshway Lettuce E. coli Outbreak Lawsuits – Multistate (2010)

JBS Swift E. coli Outbreak Lawsuits – Nationwide (2009)

Jimmy John’s Clover Sprouts E. coli O26 Outbreak Lawsuits – Multistate (2012)

KFC E. coli Outbreak Lawsuit – Ohio (1999)

Nebraska Beef E. coli Outbreak – Nationwide (2008)

Nestle Toll House Cookie Dough E. coli Outbreak Lawsuits – Nationwide (2009)

Tyson Fresh Meats E. coli Lawsuit – Ohio (2011)

Valley Meats E. coli Outbreak Lawsuits – Ohio, Illinois, Pennsylvania (2009)

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.