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Marler Blog Providing Commentary on Food Poisoning Outbreaks & Litigation

Nebraska Beef E. coli now linked to illnesses in Georgia, Indiana, Kentucky, Michigan, New York, Ohio, Utah, Massachusetts, Pennsylvania and Canada – It is time from Dorothy Lane, Kroger, Whole Foods and Coleman Natural Meats make better decisions.

If I poisoned 85 people, my guess is that I would be facing serious jail time (I can see the Raw Milk and Big Beef folks dancing now).  However, if you’re a company, like Nebraska Beef, that slaughters about 2,000 head of cattle a day, employs about 800 people in Omaha and has successfully sued the USDA, rules just do not seem to apply.

As I posted last night, Nebraska Beef, "EST 19336," late Friday night recalled an additional 1.2 million pounds of beef products that have sickened more than 30 people.  This is in addition to the 5.3 million pounds of meat that has been linked to at least other 49 cases of E. coli O157:H7 in seven states.

As I also posted last night, some of Nebraska Beef’s products were sold by Whole Foods Market (supplied buy Coleman Natural Meats), which also announced a recall Friday.  Whole Foods is recalling fresh ground beef sold between June 2 to August 6.

Now, do not forget that Dorothy Lane Market of Ohio also recalled (earlier this month) E. coli O157: H7-tainted meat after two children, and four other, were sickened with E. coli O157:H7 traced to ground beef produced by supplier Coleman Natural Meats.  Coleman Natural Meats supplier – you guessed it – Nebraska Beef.  So, does that mean the number of ill is 85?

So, USDA/FSIS is a bit frightened of Nebraska Beef?  Tell that to the 79 – 85 people sickened – some still in ICU’s across this country.  Personally, I think it is time for the USDA/FSIS to get some “bolas” – or at least give Nebraska Beef a “time out.”  Me, I am going to do what I do – sue them on behalf of people they poisoned – hoping first to fairly compensate my clients and afterwards teach Nebraska Beef a lesson – Nebraska Beef, can you say, Bankruptcy?

I also think it is time for companies that use Nebraska Beef products, like Dorothy Lane, Kroger, Whole Foods and Coleman Natural Meats, to step up and ask if you should be doing business with such a company?  You know, just like “ignorance of the law is no excuse,” ignorance of your suppliers puts you in my legal cross hairs.

According to Human Rights Watch:

In 1995, investors purchased an abandoned, decaying, half-century-old meatpacking plant, one of many that dot the mixed-use neighborhood of South Omaha.  The renovated plant became the home of Nebraska Beef Ltd., the seventh-largest beef packing company in the United States.  Today, the smell of thousands of live cattle awaiting slaughter, and the stench of blood and offal from dead cattle, permeates the low-rise apartment buildings, modest homes, and small commercial shops in the area.

Nebraska Beef Ltd. is a privately-held firm which does not file annual reports with the U.S. federal Securities and Exchange Commission.  Nebraska Beef was founded in 1995 by a group of investors led by company president William Hughes in alliance with Day Lee Inc., the U.S. arm of Nippon Ham of Japan. Eighteen investment groups and individuals invested more than $12 million in the new enterprise.  Hughes had earlier been executive vice president of another Omaha beef processing plant called BeefAmerica, which was closed in October 1993, eliminating nine hundred jobs.  When it opened, Nebraska Beef got $7.5 million in state tax credits under Nebraska’s “Quality Jobs” initiative granting such credits to firms that create new jobs.  Nebraska Beef has annual sales of more than $800 million and capacity for slaughtering three thousand head of beef per day.

  • D.M.

    I lived near the plant for years and drove by the facility day and night. I am not sure exactly where the Nebraska Beef slaughtering plant is located, but I was told that they are next to Darling International on Dahlman Avenue which is a major street that area resident’s use to cross over the interstate.
    Darling International renders cattle parts for pet food. The stench coming out of that plant is horrendous. Most of the time they do not use the chemical buffers required to neutralize the stench that billows out of the chimneys, even though by law they are required to.
    There is nothing worse than sleeping with your windows open on a cool spring evening and being woken up in the middle of the night, physically ill from the overpowering stench in the air. I called the city several times and complained and it would get better for a few weeks, then it was back again.
    Many times I drove over rotted cattle hoofs which had apparently dropped from trucks onto Dahlman Avenue. Also I have seen sickly, filthy cattle, barely able to stand, brought in there on trucks that were nearly covered with runny manure. I have seen lots of cattle trucks, but never any as filthy as these were. Only between 1 to about 3 head at a time were brought in. I am wondering what these cattle were used for as I just found out that Darling International does no slaughtering. Is this cattle for Nebraska Beef?
    This entire area and these businesses need to be thoroughly investigated.

  • ERICA CHINHENZVA

    I SHOPPED AT HARRY’S WHOLE FOODS, IN MARIETTA GA.. B I THOUGHT THAT THE BEEF ESPECIALLY WOULD BE AS STATED BY STORE,TO BE CERTIFIED ORGANIC. I’VE BEEN SICK FOR OVER 10 DAYS. CRAMPS IN STOMACH, LOOSE BOWELS SOMETIMES SEVERE SWEATS, WITH THE A/C ON,AND ITCHING.
    ONE OF MY CHILDREN PHONED ME FRON OUT OF STATE, AND SAID WATCH CNN ABOUT GROUND BEEF YOU BOUGHT FROM HARRY’S MAYBE THAT’S WHY YOU’RE FEELING BAD.

  • dt

    To the person who drove by the facility day and night, you would know where it is. It is not on Dahlman and it is not by the rendering plant. To the person who is itching maybe you need to see a dermotoligist and to the attorney who’s page this is I think you are money hungry.

  • dt

    I figured you would be selective on what is posted! If it doesn’t suit your needs then it is not posted. Hmmm imagine that!