Beef Recall Lawsuit Filed Over E. coli Food Poisoning

A lawsuit has been filed on behalf of a 13-year old boy who suffered kidney damage from E. coli food poisoning after he ate meat that was part of a massive beef recall issued last month.

The beef recall lawsuit was filed on July 6, alleging that Alex Roerick, of Albuquerque, New Mexico, contracted E. coli food poisoning after eating meat produced by JBS Swift & Co. Roerick was diagnosed with hemolytic uremic syndrome (HUS), a form of kidney disease which can result from severe food poisoning. The teenager began suffering flu-like symptoms after eating the tainted meat on May 10, and his complaint is believed to be the first lawsuit filed as a result of the recent beef recall.

JBS Swift recalled more than 420,000 pounds of assorted beef products last month, as the meats are believed to be contaminated with E. coli O157:H7, a bacteria strain that is commonly associated with food poisoning.

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The U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) reports that at least 23 people in 9 states have become ill from beef E. coli food poisoning in connection to the recalled meat. The health officials indicated that at least 12 of those people have been hospitalized and two have suffered from HUS, though it is not clear whether Roerick was one of those two cases. The strain of E. coli in all 23 cases has been matched to the strain found in JBS Swift meat.

The E. coli 0157:H7 bacteria can cause a host of serious food poisoning complications, including bloody diarrhea, abdominal cramps, and can be fatal to children, the elderly and people with weakened immune systems.

JBS Swift officials have said that the contamination may have occurred when pieces of meat were not put through an organic acid wash before packing. The meat was diverted from the wash because the sprayer was under repair. Officials also noted that it was rare for E. coli food poisoning to be connected with whole muscle meat. Most incidents are connected with eating ground beef. The meat Roerick is believed to have consumed was part of a shish kebab.

The recalled beef was shipped in boxes that bear the establishment number “EST. 969” inside the USDA mark of inspection, with an identifying package date of “042109” or “042209” and a time stamp of “0618” to “1130.” However, in many cases the meat may have been reprocesses into ground beef or other forms and may no longer carry the establishment number. The beef products include a variety of bottom sirloin cuts, intact cuts of beef and a variety of other products.


  • Bill MarlerJuly 9, 2009 at 6:12 am

    Thanks for the shout out on a case I filed

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