In the first major hamburger recall since 2002, on June 9, 2007, United Food Group voluntarily expanded its June 3 and 6 recalls to include a total of approximately 5.7 million pounds of both fresh and frozen ground beef products produced between April 6 and April 20 because it was contaminated with E. coli O157:H7, the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s Food Safety and Inspection Service announced.
An investigation carried out by the California Department of Health Services and the Colorado Department of Health, in coordination with the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, preceded the recall of June 3. Illnesses occurred in Arizona (6), California (3), Colorado (2), Idaho (1), Utah (1) and Wyoming (1). Illness onset dates ranged between April 25 and May 18.
Four of those illnesses were children who developed Hemolytic Uremic Syndrome (HUS). Their stories, like the stories of other victims of HUS linked to hamburger consumption, began with that all-American past time of eating a hamburger then lead to an acute illness where death was a real possibility. Now, it is a lifetime of risk of kidney failure.
We have been able to settle two of the four HUS cases. It will be interesting to see what juries say about the other two cases.