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Marler Blog Providing Commentary on Food Poisoning Outbreaks & Litigation

CDC Update of Michigan and Ohio E. coli O157:H7 Outbreak Linked to Hamburger Sold at Kroger and Manufactured by Nebraska Beef Ltd.

As of 5pm EST, July 2, 2008, 41 confirmed cases have been linked both epidemiologically and by molecular fingerprinting to this outbreak, 21 in Michigan and 20 in Ohio. Onset of illness in these patients occurred from 5/30/08 to 6/20/08. Twenty-two ill persons have been hospitalized. One patient has developed a type of kidney failure called hemolytic-uremic syndrome (HUS). No deaths linked to the outbreak have been reported. Twenty-four (59%) patients are female. Patients range in age from 4 to 78 years with a median age of 20 years.

State health and agriculture departments have tested ground beef recovered from patient residences and purchased at Kroger® retail stores in Michigan and Ohio. Molecular fingerprinting testing conducted by the Ohio and Michigan Departments of Health and Agriculture Laboratories, in collaboration with PulseNet, the national molecular subtyping network for foodborne disease surveillance, on E. coli O157:H7 isolates isolated from these ground beef samples have confirmed the isolates to be the outbreak strain of E. coli O157:H7.

On June 25, 2008, a recall was announced for ground beef sold at Kroger® Co. Stores in Michigan and Ohio. On June 30, 2008, a second recall of 531,707 pounds of ground beef components from Nebraska Beef Ltd. was announced. On July 3, 2008, Nebraska Beef Ltd. expanded the June 30 recall to include all beef manufacturing trimmings and other products intended for use in raw ground beef produced between May 16 and June 26, 2008, totaling approximately 5.3 million pounds.