A law firm specializing in food safety has filed a lawsuit against a beef packer after the finding of E. coli O103 in ground beef that sickened their client.
National law firm Pritzker Hageman filed the lawsuit on April 24 against K2D Foods’ Colorado Premium Foods the day after the company and USDA announced a recall on more than 113,000 lb. of ground beef. The suit was filed by attorneys Brendan Flaherty and Ryan Osterholm in United States District Court for the Eastern District of Kentucky on behalf of Kentucky resident Melanie Carmicle. It is also the first lawsuit filed in the ground beef recall that is connected to wider outbreak that has sickened at least 156 people.
Carmicle suffered an infection from E. coli after consuming contaminated ground beef. The infection led to acute seizures and kidney failure while requiring follow-up care with treatment from a nephrologist.
“Ms. Carmicle is lucky to be alive after contracting E.coli O103 from Colorado Premium ground beef. We intend to find out how so much adultured ground beef made it to consumers, and why it took so long to get to the bottom of the issue. My fear is we will see many more cases before the dust settles. I just hope no one dies before that happens,” says Attorney Ryan Osterholm.
Another recall was made by USDA and Grant Park Packing on April 24 for more than 53,000 lb. of ground beef because of a possible E. coli contamination.
E. coli can be potentially deadly causing dehydration, bloody diarrhea and abdominal cramps 2–8 days (3–4 days, on average) after exposure to the organism. FSIS recommends that any consumers who purchased the product to not consume it and either throw it away or return to the store where it was purchased.
All raw beef should be cooked to a temperature of 160°F to reduce the risk of any food borne illness by bacteria according the FSIS. A meat thermometer will help in determining if the food has reached a high enough temperature to kill harmful bacteria.