R&S Meats E. coli Outbreak LawsuitsThe Marler Clark lawyers represent two children who became ill with E. coli O157:H7 infections after eating hamburgers at a family picnic in July of 2007. One child, who was visiting New York from North Carolina, developed hemolytic uremic syndrome (HUS) secondary to E. coli infection.
Public health investigators from the Suffolk County Health Department, the New York State Department of Health (NYDOH), New York State Department of Agriculture and Markets (NYSDA&M) and the United States Department of Agriculture (USDA) conducted epidemiologic and environmental investigations into the two children’s illnesses and learned that the hamburgers served at the picnic were purchased from R&S Meats, a store that manufactures its own ground beef and hamburger patties.
Leftover uncooked hamburger from the picnic was collected and submitted to the USDA and the NYDOH Wadsworth Center Laboratory for E. coli testing and PFGE analysis. Laboratory findings confirmed that E. coli O157:H7 bacteria isolated from the leftover hamburger patties was genetically indistinguishable from the E. coli O157:H7 strain isolated from the case-patients’ stool specimens through pulsed field gel electrophoresis (PFGE).
During inspections of the R&S Meats facility, the NYSDA&M investigator noted thirteen general deficiencies, including nine sanitary violations, and a USDA inspector noted sanitary deficiencies at R&S Meats. NYSDA&M reported that the butcher shop received beef parts from various suppliers to be ground in-store. The in-store ground beef was used to form hamburger patties. Because R&S Meats did not keep grinding logs, a traceback of the E. coli-contaminated ground beef could not be conducted.
Marler Clark’s E. coli lawyers filed E. coli lawsuits against R&S Meats on behalf of both children in December of 2008.