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Marler Blog Providing Commentary on Food Poisoning Outbreaks & Litigation

E. coli-tainted hamburger recalled by Topps tops 21,700,000 pounds

In June in an Op-ed I warned about the increasing recalls and illnesses tied to E. coli-tainted hamburger and red meat.  Now, according to a press release by Topps:

Topps Meat Company LLC, located in Elizabeth, NJ, has voluntarily expanded its recall announced on September 25 to include 21.7 million pounds of ground beef products that may be contaminated with E. coli O157:H7. This represents all products produced by Topps with a “sell by date” or “best if used by date” that falls between September 25, 2007 and September 25, 2008. This information may be found on the back panel of the package. All recalled products will have a USDA establishment number of EST 9748, which is located on the back panel of the package and/or in the USDA legend.

This recall tops the Con Agra recall of 19,000,000 pounds in 2002 that sickened over forty and killed one and is just under the 25,000,000 pounds recalled by now-bankrupt Hudson Foods in 1997.


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As of Friday afternoon, we had been contacted by 4 of the 21 confirmed victims of this most recent Topps E. coli problem.  As some may know this is not the first time Topps product has been implicated in an E. coli illness.  Again, this recall is just a huge example of an increasing problem with ground meat in the USA – prior recalls in 2007 include:

1. A federal consumer alert was issued by FSIS for meat products sold under the brand name “Northwest Finest” after six people in Washington, two people in Oregon and one in Idaho became sick from E. coli O157:H7. The organic beef was ground by Interstate Meat, a national meat wholesaler, located in Clackamas, Oregon. 42,000 pounds of meat was recalled.

2. At least thirteen people have been confirmed ill with E. coli O157:H7 infections after eating ground beef produced by United Food Group sold in Arizona, California, Colorado, Idaho, Nevada, New Mexico, Oregon, Utah, Washington, Wyoming and Montana. Over 5,700,000 pound of meat have been recalled.

3. Tyson Fresh Meats, Inc. recalled 40,440 pounds of ground beef products due to possible contamination with E. coli O157:H7. No illnesses yet reported.

4. Seven Minnesotans were confirmed as part of the E. coli O157:H7 outbreak that prompted PM Beef Holdings to recall 117,500 pounds of beef trim products that was ground and sold at Lunds and Byerly’s stores.

5. Twenty-seven people have been confirmed ill with E. coli O157:H7 infections in Fresno County. The Fresno County Department of Community Health inspected the “Meat Market” in Northwest Fresno, the source of the outbreak.

6. At least two people were confirmed ill with E. coli O157:H7 infections in Michigan after eating ground beef produced by Davis Creek Meats and Seafood of Kalamazoo, Michigan. The E. coli outbreak prompted Davis Creek Meats and Seafood to recall approximately 129,000 pounds of beef products that were distributed in Arkansas, Florida, Illinois, Indiana, Iowa, Kansas, Kentucky, Michigan, Missouri, Ohio, Pennsylvania, Tennessee, Virginia, West Virginia, and Wisconsin.

7. Following reports of three Napa Valley children who became sick from hamburger patties sold at a St. Helena Little League snack shack, 100,000 pounds of hamburger (that was a year old) was recalled.

8. Several people were confirmed ill with E. coli O157:H7 infections in Pennsylvania after eating E. coli-contaminated meat products at Hoss’s Family Steak and Sea Restaurants, a Pennsylvania-based restaurant chain that purchased its meat from HFX, Inc., of South Claysburg, Pennsylvania. As a result of the outbreak, HFX recalled approximately 4,900 pounds of meat products.

The products subject to the Topps original and expanded recall include:

10-pound boxes of “BUTCHER’S BEST 100% ALL BEEF PATTIES 75/25, 4 OZ (4-1), 40 PIECES.” — 10-pound boxes of “BUTCHER’S BEST 100% ALL BEEF PATTIES 75/25, 6 OZ FLAT, 27 PIECES.” — 10-pound boxes of “KOHLER FOODS 4 OZ FLAT HAMBURGER, CODE: 60100, 40 PCS.” — 10-pound boxes of “KOHLER FOODS 6 OZ FLAT HAMBURGER, CODE: 60200, 27 PCS.” — 10-pound boxes of “KOHLER FOODS 8 OZ FLAT HAMBURGER, CODE: 60300, 20 PCS.” — 3-pound boxes of “MIKE’S 12 SEASONED BEEF PATTIES.” — 5-pound boxes of “MIKE’S 20 SEASONED BEEF PATTIES.” — 3-pound boxes of “PATHMARK 100% ALL BEEF BURGERS, 16 BEEF BURGERS.” — 5-pound boxes of “PATHMARK 100% ALL BEEF BURGERS, 20 BEEF BURGERS.” — 10-pound boxes of “PATHMARK 100% ALL BEEF BURGERS, 40 BEEF BURGERS.” — 10-pound boxes of “RASTELLI’S FINE FOODS 100% PREMIUM BEEF HAMBURGER (80/20), 10 OZ H, 16 COUNT.” — 10-pound boxes of “RASTELLI’S FINE FOODS 100% PREMIUM BEEF HAMBURGER (80/20), 3.2 OZ, 50 COUNT.” — 10-pound boxes of “RASTELLI’S FINE FOODS 100% PREMIUM BEEF HAMBURGER (80/20), 4 OZ, 40 COUNT.” — 10-pound boxes of “RASTELLI’S FINE FOODS 100% PREMIUM BEEF HAMBURGER (80/20), 6 OZ FLAT, 27 COUNT.” — 10-pound boxes of “RASTELLI’S FINE FOODS 100% PREMIUM BEEF HAMBURGER (80/20), 8 OZ FLAT, 20 COUNT.” — 10 pound boxes of RASTELLI’S FINE FOODS 100% PREMIUM BEEF HAMBURGER (85/15), 6 OZ, FLAT 27 COUNT. — 10-pound boxes of “ROMA – TOPPS 100% PREMIUM HAMBURGER, 2 OZ, 80 PIECES.” — 10-pound boxes of “ROMA – TOPPS 100% PREMIUM HAMBURGER, 3.2 OZ, 50 PIECES.” — 10-pound boxes of “ROMA – TOPPS 100% PREMIUM HAMBURGER, 4 OZ, 40 PIECES.” — 10-pound boxes of “ROMA – TOPPS 100% PREMIUM HAMBURGER, 5 OZ, 32 PIECES.” — 10-pound boxes of “ROMA – TOPPS 100% PREMIUM HAMBURGER, 5.3 OZ, 30 PIECES.” — 10-pound boxes of “ROMA – TOPPS 100% PREMIUM HAMBURGER, 6 OZ, 27 PIECES.” — 10-pound boxes of “ROMA – TOPPS 100% PREMIUM HAMBURGER, 7 OZ, 23 PIECES.” — 10-pound boxes of “ROMA – TOPPS 100% PREMIUM HAMBURGER, 8 OZ FLAT, 20 PIECES.” — 10-pound boxes of “ROMA – TOPPS 100% PREMIUM HAMBURGER, 8 OZ H, 20 PIECES.” — 10-pound boxes of “ROMA – TOPPS 100% PREMIUM HAMBURGER, 10 OZ H, 16 PIECES.” — 3-pound bags of “SAM’S CHOICE BACKYARD GOURMET BEEF BURGERS, 75/25, 12 QUARTER POUND ROUND PATTIES.” — 6-pound bags of “SAM’S CHOICE BACKYARD GOURMET BEEF BURGERS, 75/25, 24 QUARTER POUND ROUND PATTIES.” — 3-pound bags of “SAM’S CHOICE BACKYARD GOURMET BEEF BURGERS, 80/20, 12 QUARTER POUND ROUND PATTIES.” — 3-pound bags of “SAM’S CHOICE BACKYARD GOURMET BEEF BURGERS, 85/15, 12 QUARTER POUND ROUND PATTIES.” — 10-pound boxes of “SAND CASTLE FINE MEAT 100% PREMIUM BEEF HAMBURGER (75/25), 8 OZ FLAT, 20 COUNT.” — 10-pound boxes of “SAND CASTLE FINE MEAT 100% PREMIUM BEEF HAMBURGER (80/20), 4 OZ, 40 COUNT.” — 10-pound boxes of SAND CASTLE FINE MEAT 100% PREMIUM BEEF HAMBURGER (80/20), 6 OZ, 27 COUNT. — 10-pound boxes of “SAND CASTLE FINE MEAT 100% PREMIUM BEEF HAMBURGER (80/20), 8 OZ FLAT, 20 COUNT.” — 10-pound boxes of “SAND CASTLE FINE MEAT 100% PREMIUM BEEF HAMBURGER (85/15), 3.2 OZ, 50 COUNT.” — 10-pound boxes of “SAND CASTLE FINE MEAT 100% PREMIUM BEEF HAMBURGER (85/15), 4 OZ, 40 COUNT.” — 10-pound boxes of “SAND CASTLE FINE MEAT 100% PREMIUM BEEF HAMBURGER (85/15), 6 OZ FLAT, 27 COUNT.” — 10-pound boxes of “SAND CASTLE FINE MEAT 100% PREMIUM BEEF HAMBURGER (85/15), 10 OZ H, 16 COUNT.” — 10-pound boxes of “SAND CASTLE FINE MEAT ANGUS CHUCK BURGER (80/20), 8 OZ FLAT, 20 COUNT.” — 3-pound boxes of “SHOP RITE 100% PURE GROUND BEEF HAMBURGERS, 16 3 OZ BURGERS.” — 3-pound boxes of “SHOP RITE 100% PURE QUARTER POUND GROUND BEEF HAMBURGERS.” — 5-pound boxes of “SHOP RITE 100% PURE QUARTER POUND GROUND BEEF HAMBURGERS.” — 10-pound boxes of “SHOP RITE 100% PURE QUARTER POUND GROUND BEEF HAMBURGERS.” — 10-pound boxes of “TOPPS 100% PREMIUM HAMBURGER, 1 OZ SLIDER.” — 10-pound boxes of “TOPPS 100% PREMIUM HAMBURGER, 10 OZ (PUB BURGER).” — 10-pound boxes of “TOPPS 100% PREMIUM HAMBURGER, 2 OZ.” — 10-pound boxes of “TOPPS 100% PREMIUM HAMBURGER, 2.67 OZ.” — 10-pound boxes of “TOPPS 100% PREMIUM HAMBURGER, 3 OZ HOMESTYLE.” — 10-pound boxes of “TOPPS 100% PREMIUM HAMBURGER, 4 OZ.” — 10-pound boxes of “TOPPS 100% PREMIUM HAMBURGERS, 4 OZ (4-1) HOMESTYLE.” — 10-pound boxes of “TOPPS 100% PREMIUM HAMBURGER, 4 OZ FLAT.” — 10-pound boxes of “TOPPS 100% PREMIUM HAMBURGER, 5 OZ, 32 PIECES.” — 10-pound boxes of “TOPPS 100% PREMIUM HAMBURGERS 5 OZ (1/2-inch)” — 10-pound boxes of “TOPPS 100% PREMIUM HAMBURGER, 6 OZ (5/8-inch).” — 10-pound boxes of “TOPPS 100% PREMIUM HAMBURGER, 6 OZ (85/15).” — 10-pound boxes of “TOPPS 100% PREMIUM HAMBURGER, 6 OZ (HOMESTYLE).” — 10-pound boxes of “TOPPS 100% PREMIUM HAMBURGER, 6 OZ (PUB BURGER).” — 10-pound boxes of “TOPPS 100% PREMIUM HAMBURGER, 7 OZ.” — 10-pound boxes of “TOPPS 100% PREMIUM HAMBURGER, 7 OZ (75/25).” — 10-pound boxes of “TOPPS 100% PREMIUM HAMBURGER, 8 OZ FLAT.” — 10-pound boxes of “TOPPS 100% PREMIUM HAMBURGERS, 8 OZ (PUB BURGER)” — 1.5-pound boxes of “TOPPS 100% PURE GROUND BEEF HAMBURGERS, 3 OZ (8 COUNT).” — 2-pound boxes of “TOPPS 100% PURE GROUND BEEF HAMBURGERS, 3 OZ, 10 COUNT.” — 3-pound boxes of “TOPPS 100% PURE GROUND BEEF HAMBURGERS, 6 OZ. PUB BURGERS.” — 2-pound boxes of “TOPPS 100% PURE GROUND BEEF HAMBURGERS, 8 QUARTER POUNDERS.” — 3-pound boxes of “TOPPS 100% PURE GROUND BEEF HAMBURGERS, 12 QUARTER POUNDERS.” — 3-pound boxes of “TOPPS 100% PURE GROUND BEEF HAMBURGERS, 16 HAMBURGERS.” — 5-pound boxes of “TOPPS 100% PURE GROUND BEEF HAMBURGERS, 20 QUARTER POUNDERS.” — 8-pound boxes of “TOPPS 100% PURE GROUND BEEF HAMBURGERS, 32 QUARTER POUNDERS.” — 2-pound boxes of “TOPPS SIRLOIN STEAK BURGERS WITH FIRE-ROASTED ONIONS, 6 1/3 LB. HOMESTYLE BURGERS.” — 2-pound boxes of “TOPPS SIRLOIN STEAK BURGERS WITH PORTABELLA MUSHROOMS, 6 1/3 LB. HOMESTYLE BURGERS.” — 2-pound boxes of “TOPPS SIRLOIN STEAK BURGERS, 6 1/3 LB. HOMESTYLE BURGERS.” — 10-pound boxes of “TOPPS HAMBURGERS, 3.2 OZ, 50 COUNT.” — 10-pound boxes of “WEST SIDE 100% PREMIUM HAMBURGER, 3 OZ, 53 COUNT.” — 10-pound boxes of “WEST SIDE 100% PREMIUM HAMBURGER, 3.2 OZ, 50 COUNT.” — 10-pound boxes of “WEST SIDE 100% PREMIUM HAMBURGER, 4 OZ, 40 COUNT.” — 10-pound boxes of “WESTSIDE, 100% PREMIUM HAMBURGER, 5 OZ FLAT, 32 COUNT.” — 10-pound boxes of “WEST SIDE 100% PREMIUM HAMBURGER, 6 OZ, 27 COUNT.” — 10-pound boxes of “WESTSIDE, 100% PREMIUM HAMBURGER, 6 OZ FLAT, 27 COUNT.” — 10-pound boxes of “WESTSIDE, 100% PREMIUM HAMBURGER, 8 OZ FLAT, 20 COUNT.”

  • http://www.foodpoisonblog.com/2007/09/articles/food-poisoning-watch/recall-now-tops-21700000-pounds-of-hamburger-second-largest-in-us-history/index.html Food Poison Blog

    Recall now tops 21,700,000 Pounds of Hamburger – Second largest in US History

    According to a press release by Topps: Topps Meat Company LLC, located in Elizabeth, NJ, has voluntarily expanded its recall announced on September 25 to include 21.7 million pounds of ground beef products that may be contaminated with E. coli…

  • Steven

    Do you think rats got to the meat?

  • http://www.marlerblog.com/2007/11/articles/legal-cases/topps-files-for-bankruptcy-after-massive-beef-recall/index.html Marler Blog

    Topps files for bankruptcy after massive beef recall

    Jeffrey Gold, AP’s "E. coli guy," in New Jersey filed the story that had been rumored about for weeks about Topps Meat Company’s Chapter 7 Bankruptcy. Topps has up to 10,000 creditors (including several of my clients) and liabilities of…