The U.S. Department of Agriculture’s Food Safety and Inspection Service (FSIS) just announced this afternoon that McNees Meats and Wholesale LLC, a North Branch, Michigan company, is expanding its August 9, 2011 Class I recall to include approximately 2,200 pounds of ground beef product that may be contaminated with E. coli O157:NM (non-motile). Through an
Marler Clark E. coli Study Leads to WinCo Meat Recall
Seattle Times staff reporter, Maureen O’ Hagen, writes in today’s paper about the role our firm, Marler Clark, played in the recent WinCo Foods meat recall related to potential E. coli O157:H7 contamination. Positive E. coli O157:H7 test results revealed in a study that Marler Clark has commissioned revealed the contamination:
The E. coli came to
FSIS Progress Report on Salmonella in Meat and Poultry
In 1996, the USDA’s Food Safety and Inspection Service established the HACCP (hazard analysis and critical control points) rule to verify that establishments have consistent process control for preventing, eliminating, or reducing the contamination of raw meat and poultry products with disease-causing bacteria like Salmonella, E. coli O157:H7, and campylobacter. The rule, in…
WinCo ground beef recall: from whence it grows
The Associated Press and New York Times just reported on the impetus behind the testing that caused WinCo to issue its large-scale meat recall: us. The positive tests were generated during a study that Marler Clark had comissioned on the presence of E. coli in retail beef samples. The Times reports:
A ground beef recall
Lawsuit Filed Against Fairbank Farms Over E. coli O157:H7 Ground Beef
Marler Clark filed a lawsuit today on behalf of Alice Smith against Fairbank Farms in Federal District Court in Maine. Ms. Smith, 88 years old, was hospitalized for weeks with an E. coli O157:H7 infection after consuming ground beef contaminated with the bacteria produced by Fairbank.
In late October 2009, Fairbank Farms recalled 545,699 pounds of…
Class I Beef Recall due to E. coli Contamination
West Missouri Beef, LLC has voluntarily recalled 14,000 pounds of boneless beef products due to potential contamination by E. coli O157:H7. USDA’s Food Safety and Inspection Service (FSIS) announced the Class I recall in a press release last night. It is the third Class I recall this year, and the fifth since November, adding up to 1,636,000 pounds of beef products that have been recalled due to potential E. coli O157:H7 contamination in the last 3+ months.
What is a Class I recall?
A Class I recall, according to FDA definitions, should occur when "there is a reasonable probability that the use of or exposure to a violative product will cause serious adverse health consequences or death." Class II and III recalls are appropriate only when there is a significantly lesser, or remote, risk of adverse health consequences, or when the health consequences are minor. Due to its lethal capacity, E. coli O157:H7 is a bacteria that always requires a Class I recall.
What is E. coli O157:H7?
Escherichia coli (E. coli) are members of a large group of bacterial germs that inhabit the intestinal tract of humans and other warm blooded animals (mammals, birds). Newborns have a sterile alimentary tract which within two days becomes colonized with E. coli.
More than 700 serotypes of E. coli have been identified. The different E. coli serotypes are distinguished by their “O” and “H” antigens on their bodies and flagella, respectively. The E. coli serotypes that are responsible for the numerous reports of contaminated foods and beverages are those that produce Shiga toxin (Stx), so called because the toxin is virtually identical to that produced by another bacteria known as Shigella dysenteria type 1 (that also causes bloody diarrhea and hemolytic uremic syndrome [HUS] in emerging countries like Bangladesh) (Griffin & Tauxe, 1991, p. 60, 73). The best known and most notorious Stx-producing E. coli is E. coli O157:H7. It is important to remember that most kinds of E. coli bacteria do not cause disease in humans, indeed, some are beneficial, and some cause infections other than gastrointestinal infections, such urinary tract infections. This section deals specifically with Stx-producing E. coli, including specifically E. coli O157:H7.
Shiga toxin is one of the most potent toxins known to man, so much so that the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) lists it as a potential bioterrorist agent (CDC, n.d.). It seems likely that DNA from Shiga toxin-producing Shigella bacteria was transferred by a bacteriophage (a virus that infects bacteria) to otherwise harmless E. coli bacteria, thereby providing them with the genetic material to produce Shiga toxin.
Although E. coli O157:H7 is responsible for the majority of human illnesses attributed to E. coli, there are additional Stx-producing E. coli (e.g., E. coli O121:H19) that can also cause hemorrhagic colitis and post-diarrheal hemolytic uremic syndrome (D+HUS). HUS is a syndrome that is defined by the trilogy of hemolytic anemia (destruction of red blood cells), thrombocytopenia (low platelet count), and acute kidney failure.
Stx-producing E. coli organisms have several characteristics that make them so dangerous. They are hardy organisms that can survive several weeks on surfaces such as counter tops, and up to a year in some materials like compost. They have a very low infectious dose meaning that only a relatively small number of bacteria, less than 50, are needed “to set-up housekeeping” in a victim’s intestinal tract and cause infection.
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) estimates that every year at least 2000 Americans are hospitalized, and about 60 die as a direct result of E. coli infections and its complications. A recent study estimated the annual cost of E. coli O157:H7 illnesses to be $405 million (in 2003 dollars) which included $370 million for premature deaths, $30 million for medical care, and $5 million for lost productivity (Frenzen, Drake, and Angulo, 2005).
Continue Reading Class I Beef Recall due to E. coli Contamination
2,880,000 pounds of beef and sausage recalled since November 2009
Counting Friday’s sausage recall by Daniele International, Inc., food companies have recalled at least 2,880,000 pounds of meat products since November 2009 due to contamination by E. coli or Salmonella.
Friday’s recall: (from FSIS press release)
Daniele International Inc., an establishment with operations in Pascoag and Mapleville, R.I., is recalling approximately 1,240,000 pounds of ready-to-eat (RTE)
Wisconsin hit by E. coli O157:H7 again
Fox 6 News in Milwaukee reported today that the state of Wisconsin, with the aid of local health authorities, is investigating 6 E. coli O157:H7 illnesses in Belgium, Wisconsin. Wisconsin has been hit hard by E. coli before. Why is it that some states–Minnesota, Utah, and a list of 3 or 4 others–seem to be involved in many…
California company recalls 864,000 pounds of ground beef
FSIS reported today that Huntington Meat Packing Inc., a Montebello, Calif. establishment, is recalling approximately 864,000 pounds of beef products that may be contaminated with E. coli O157:H7. Although the recall is Class I–i.e. associated with a very high risk to consumer health–there are no illnesses currently known to be associated with the potentially contaminated…
Tylenol recall expands
So how does the principle of strict liability–i.e. liability without regard to fault–which is applicable in foodborne illness cases, apply to bottles of Tylenol that make people sick? The answer: very well.
For some background, Johnson & Johnson today expanded its recall of various Tylenol products, which, like many food items, are regulated by…