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Marler Blog Providing Commentary on Food Poisoning Outbreaks & Litigation

E. coli O157:H7 Tainted Hamburger Linked to Boy Scout Illnesses in Virginia and Maryland

I love this quote:

"Herndon resident Michael Monaco said his 14-year-old son, who started experiencing symptoms Friday, has had his case of E. coli confirmed by a hospital.

"It’s very unfortunate, and I’d like to know how the beef got contaminated," Monaco said. "If it’s traceable to contaminated beef, I’m mad at the person that provided the beef. There’s no way for the Scouts to have known they had bad beef."

One would think that it is a really bad idea to poison boy scouts a few hours outside of Washington DC with E. coli-tainted hamburger, but apparently not.  As I said in a press release today:

“Recalls of beef contaminated with E. coli O157:H7 have jumped by a factor of two hundred in just a year and a half,” said food safety advocate and attorney William Marler. “Families who sent their kids to camp will now spend the rest of the summer with them in ICUs. Something is terribly, terribly wrong with the American meat supply system, and immediate action must be taken by our leaders.”

According to press reports, Virginia Health officials confirmed today that beef taken from the Boy Scout camp in Goshen tested positive for the E. coli O157:H7 bacteria. However, Alan Lambert, the Scout Executive for the National Capital Area Scout council says the Virginia Department of Health says it may not be the only culprit in the outbreak there. He held a press conference in Bethesda, MD Monday morning. Lambert says the USDA is continuing with its investigation.

Health department officials have confirmed at least 14 boys and one adult were infected with E. coli while attending a Boy Scout camp in Rockbridge County. As many as 60 people who attended the Goshen Scout Reservation last week reported becoming ill, and the number of E. coli cases could increase as test results are analyzed, according to the Virginia Department of Health. All 14 boys were from Northern Virginia, and nine were hospitalized.  There are other illnesses in Maryland that have yet to be reported in the press.

Water does not seem to be the source of the infection, said Dr. Douglas Larsen, director for Central Shenandoah Health District. The camp is part of Larsen’s district. All six water wells at the camp tested negative on June 21, just prior to the outbreak, Larsen said.

Health department officials have confirmed at least 14 boys and one adult were infected with E. coli while attending a Boy Scout camp in Rockbridge County. As many as 60 people who attended the Goshen Scout Reservation last week reported becoming ill, and the number of E. coli cases could increase as test results are analyzed, according to the Virginia Department of Health. All 14 boys were from Northern Virginia, and nine were hospitalized.

Health officials in Northern Virginia are in the process of talking to those with confirmed cases about what food they ate. That could lead to some more clues, Larsen said.

Also, according to a Boy Scout press release, the Goshen Scout Reservation has been closed and will remain so until further notice. Earlier today, the National Capital Area Council (NCAC), BSA was made aware of three additional Scouts showing symptomatic signs of E. coli bacteria infection. The affected Scouts were at Goshen Scout Reservation during week 5 (July 28 – August 2).

  • Debbie

    This information says that all of the boys were from Northern Virginia – this is not factual. You should check and update your information.