Ground Bison E. coli Outbreak Ends, Will Lawsuits Follow?

The ground bison E. coli outbreak has ended after sickening 33 people in eight states, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). But, for those sickened, including 18 people who were hospitalized, the end of the outbreak doesn’t mean the opportunity to file a lawsuit has also ended.

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Ground Bison E. coli Outbreak

The CDC announced this ground bison E. coli outbreak on July 16, 2019. That same day, Northfork Bison Distributions, Inc., in Saint-Leonard, Quebec, Canada, issued a recall for ground bison products sold to restaurants and at grocery stores.

Both strains of E. coli associated with this outbreak, E. coli O103 and E. coli O121,  produce Shiga toxins, a kind of poison that results in more severe infections. Eight of the 33 people were sickened by the E. coli O103 strain, 21 people were sickened by E. coli O121 and four people were sickened by both. Illnesses were reported from March 18, 2019 to August 11, 2019.

During interviews with health officials, case-patients, who range in age from 6 to 80 years old, reported eating ground bison at restaurants or preparing and eating at home in the week before they became ill. Investigators collected restaurant supplier records which showed ground bison produced by Northfork Bison Distributions, Inc., was supplied to several restaurants where case-patients reported eating before they became ill.  Tests on Northfork bison burgers were positive for the outbreak strain E. coli O121.

Health officials have not released the names of the restaurants that served the contaminated bison, but that is not a requirement before a lawsuit to be filed.

The cases count from each of the states was as follows: CT (2), FL (6), IL (1), MI (1), MO (1), NJ (3), NY (14) and PA (5).

E. coli Lawyer Ground Bison E. coli Outbreak Final CDC Map

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