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Marler Blog Providing Commentary on Food Poisoning Outbreaks & Litigation

Topps, Cargill E. coli Recall and ConAgra Salmonella Too

Beef recalls raise concerns about food safety

Jeffrey Gold, AP Business Writer (a.k.a. “E. coli Guy”) interviewed the husband and father of two of my clients in the Topps E. coli case:

‘Food is being pushed out at such a rapid pace to keep up with demand, the product is not as safe as it could be. And we’re risking human life.’
—Keith Goodwin

Topps eventually issued a recall Sept. 25, and then expanded it Sept. 29 to include all frozen patties it had made in the past year—21.7 million pounds—the second-largest beef recall in U.S. history. Much of the meat had already been eaten, however, and illness in at least 40 people in eight states has been linked to the Topps hamburgers.  Keith Goodwin said the victims include his wife and a son, and wondered if the timing of the recall was at fault. He said they ate Topps hamburgers at a family picnic Sept. 15 in upstate New York, more than a week after authorities had evidence that Topps patties were contaminated.

“If the public had been made aware of that, a lot of these illnesses would have been avoided,” said Mr. Goodwin, of Groton, N.Y., who teaches at the town’s elementary school. He said his wife, Kristin, 34, was hospitalized for two days, while his son Lucas, 8, suffered kidney failure and was hospitalized for eight days. “The whole ordeal has been very scary,” Goodwin said.