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Marler Blog Providing Commentary on Food Poisoning Outbreaks & Litigation

Nineteen Sickened – National Steak and Poultry Meat Tested Positive for E. coli O157:H7

Thankfully Kim Archer of the Tulsa World Herald is adding to the slow roll of information on this outbreak and recall – “Owasso beef linked to E. coli.” Here is some clarified and newer information:

Nineteen sickened, so says the CDC

The E. coli outbreak — considered a Class 1 recall because the health risk is high — has sickened at least 19 people, said Arleen Porcell-Pharr, a spokeswoman for the federal Centers for Disease Control and Prevention in Atlanta. She could not provide further information about the severity of the illnesses.

Only three restaurant chains received the steak

The recall did not include products shipped to retailers but is limited to products sold to Moe’s, Carino’s Italian Grill and KRM restaurants in Colorado, Iowa, Kansas, Michigan, South Dakota and Washington State, National Steak and Poultry said. KRM Restaurant Group is the parent company of 54th Street Grill & Bar, which operates 15 locations in Missouri, Kansas and Illinois.

Bombshell – National Steak and Poultry product tested positive for E. coli O157:H7

The USDA verified those dates, adding that source material for the company’s chopped steak product produced Oct. 12 that had tested positive for E. coli O157:H7 had mingled with products produced on the other dates.

Federal officials began investigation December 11

Federal officials began investigating the E. coli outbreak Dec. 11, according to the USDA’s Food Safety and Inspection Service. The Owasso plant’s beef recall was issued Christmas Eve.

And, as I said:

Bill Marler, a Seattle-based food safety advocate and attorney, said that "when it involves E. coli O157:H7, just issuing a recall isn’t remotely enough action to protect consumers." "The recall was issued on a holiday, with illnesses across the country and only a vague reference to meat being shipped to restaurants nationwide," he said. Federal agencies and the company "must know which restaurants it went to, and the public deserves to know, too."