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Marler Blog Providing Commentary on Food Poisoning Outbreaks & Litigation

Hannaford Hamburger Salmonella Typhimurium Outbreak Tops 19 in 7 States

A total of 19 persons infected with the outbreak strain of Salmonella Typhimurium have been reported from 7 states. The number of ill persons identified in each state is as follows: HI (1), KY (1), MA (1), ME (4), NH (6), NY (5), and VT (1). Among persons for whom information is available, illnesses began on or after October 8, 2011. Ill persons range in age from 1 year to 79 years old, with a median age of 44 years old. Fifty-three percent are male. Among the 15 ill persons with available information, 7 (47%) have been hospitalized. No deaths have been reported.


  • Gabrielle Meunier

    I wonder if Hannafords is going to change their process for meat purchasing?

  • Gabrielle, you ask a leading question. Hannaford is under the microscope because it didn’t maintain grinding logs. But, we must admit that the presence of absence of grinding logs has zero impact on the production of contaminated meat. No argument there.
    The real issue is actions Hannaford can implement to prevent their future purchase of meat which is already laced with invisible bacteria. Good luck! Even if Hannaford initiates numerous additional requirements against its source slaughter providers, none of these providers will issue a blanket guarantee that their meat is 100% safe. And there’s no other response the source plants could give, when selling RAW meat which has not been fully cooked, thereby cannot be guaranteed.
    Hannaford is between a rock and a hard spot. Through no fault of their own, they unwittingly purchased meat laced with invisible bacteria, ground it, and 19 of their customers have been sickened. Even if Hannaford had maintained superlative grinding logs, history has shown that FSIS drags its feet on doing tracebacks even when source facts have been copiously documented, unwilling to challenge the biggest packers. Since this issue is associated with an outbreak, we are indeed fortunate that CDC and state health authorities are also involved, taking this investigation out of the exclusive control of FSIS, whose actions frequently create adverse impact to public health because of the agency’s reluctance to do tracebacks.
    John Munsell