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.