Cargill Beef Salmonella Food Poisoning Outbreak: Compensation for Victims

Our attorneys are investigating the Salmonella food poisoning outbreak linked to ground beef processed by Cargill Meat Solutions. Victims of this outbreak have the legal right to sue Cargill for compensation, including medical expenses, lost income, pain and suffering, emotional distress and other damages. Contact our Salmonella lawyers for a free consultation.

Today the CDC updated its numbers for the Salmonella food poisoning outbreak linked to Cargill ground beef:

A total of 40 individuals infected with the outbreak strain of Salmonella Enteritidis have been reported from 8 states. The number of ill people identified in each state with the outbreak strain is as follows: Maine (1), Massachusetts (3), New Hampshire (2), New York (18), Rhode Island (2), Virginia (2), Vermont (11) and West Virginia (1).

People were first sickened in early June, and the last reported illness onset date, according to the CDC, is July 9, 2012. In response to this outbreak, Cargill Meat Solutions of Wyalusing, PA., recalled almost 30,000 pounds of ground beef, but not until July 22. The recalled ground beef was produced by Cargill on May 25, 3012, so the recall was issued almost 2 months after the meat was processed, a long enough time to ensure that a vast majority of the meat had been sold and consumed.

The recalled Cargill ground beef was shipped to distribution centers in Connecticut, Maine and New York where the meat was repackaged and sold in retail-sized packages under a variety of  brand names. Most of the people sickened in this outbreak (from age 3 to 101) ate Cargill ground beef purchased at a Hannaford grocery store in Maine, Massachusetts, New Hampshire, New York or Vermont.

At least 11 people were hospitalized. Salmonella can cause meningitis, colitis, sepsis, reactive arthritis and other serious health problems.  Our lawyers have experience with these cases and have won millions for clients.

“The technology is available to prevent contaminated meat from getting into grocery stores,” said Salmonella lawyer Fred Pritzker. “When Salmonella bacteria are detected in meat, that meat should not be used for human consumption.”

Salmonella Outbreak Investigation

Epidemiologic and traceback investigations indicate that ground beef processed by Cargill Meat Solutions is the likely source of this outbreak of Salmonella Enteritidis infections. Health officials interviewed ill persons regarding what foods they consumed during the week before they got sick. Twenty-six (90%) of 29 ill persons interviewed reported consuming ground beef in the week before their illness began. Among the 26 ill persons who reported consuming ground beef, 17 (65%) reported purchasing ground beef from various Hannaford grocery stores. Among the 14 ill persons who remembered the type of ground beef, 9 (64%) recalled purchasing 85% lean ground beef.

Laboratory testing conducted by state public health laboratories isolated the outbreak strain of Salmonella Enteritidis from 2 unlabeled packages of leftover ground beef reportedly purchased from the Hannaford grocery store chain and collected from 2 separate case-patient homes in New York and Vermont. This is a “smoking gun” that proves that Cargill ground beef was the source of the outbreak.

Cargill Beef Recall

On July 22, 2012, Cargill Meat Solutions recalled almost 30,000 pounds of ground beef products.  The products subject to recall bear the establishment number “EST. 9400” inside the USDA mark of inspection. While the use-by date has passed and these products are no longer available for retail sale, FSIS and the company are concerned that some product may be frozen in consumers’ freezers.
It is important for consumers to note that the recalled products were repackaged into consumer-size packages and sold under different retail brand names and may not bear “EST. 9400” on the packaging.

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Category: Food Poisoning
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