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Marler Blog Providing Commentary on Food Poisoning Outbreaks & Litigation

Georgia Finally Joins List of E. coli Outbreak States, CDC Says

No surprise to the folks sitting in the ICU waiting room of the Archbold Hospital in Thomasville, Georgia who I met with today.  Three women in ICU with families at their side – life should not hang in the balance at age 70 after going to a local restaurant you have visited for years.  A teenager should not be at risk of kidney failure after eating a burger.  An adult man should not lose weeks of work for eating out.  There are at least eight, and likely more to be counted, in the largest E. coli outbreak of 2008 – so far.

I only wish the lawyers and corporate executives of food companies could spend time with these families.  Perhaps if they saw what I saw today they would get the cow shit off their product.

I left Minneapolis at 6:00 AM this morning, flew to Memphis, then to Tallahassee and drove to Thomasville.  I just made it back to Seattle at 10:00 PM after retracing most of my steps.  It has been a long day.

Well, on to the news – according to a recent news report, Georgia has one lab-confirmed case (the rest will be counted soon) of a bacterial infection that is a molecular match to 44 previously reported cases in Michigan (where we will file suit next week), Ohio (where we have filed two suits), Indiana, Kentucky and New York, according to the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.  However, Georgia health officials are investigating at least seven more cases of E. coli, all of them in Colquitt County.  Beef from a Moultrie restaurant tested positive for E. coli and that beef has been linked to Nebraska Beef Ltd.

The outbreak has been traced to beef sold in Kroger supermarkets in Michigan and Ohio.  Kroger last month recalled (after some prompting) ground beef sold in Michigan and Ohio stores, and then this month expanded it to include other states.  Nebraska Beef Ltd. supplied the meat, ultimately recalling (after even more prompting) 5.3 million pounds of beef.

The local paper, the Moultrie Observer reported, "Local E. coli case linked to national outbreak."

  • The CDC has now determined that it fit their case definition for the outbreak that began in Michigan and Ohio.
  • CDC announced that New York, Kentucky and Indiana each had a lab-confirmed case of bacterial infection that matched the clusters in Michigan and Ohio that had been traced to beef sold in Kroger supermarkets. With the inclusion of Georgia, six states are now linked to the outbreak.