E. coli strikes again for Carneco and Sam's Club


SEATTLE — Four Minnesota residents and one Wisconsin resident became ill in July after eating sirloin patties purchased at Sam's Club stores in White Bear Lake and Eagan, Minnesota, and in Waukesha, Wisconsin. So far only five illnesses have been implicated in connection with this production of ground meat. These infections have been linked to frozen ground sirloin patties sold by Sam's Club and manufactured at Carneco. A voluntary recall of meat by Carneco involves 497,000 pounds of meat distributed to Sam's Club stores in 10 states including: Minesota, Florida, Georgia, Illinois, Indiana, Louisiana, Pennsylvania, New York, Ohio, Utah and Wisconsin.

This is not the first time that Carneco Foods ground beef sold at Sam’s Wholesale Club has been recalled because of E. coli O157:H7. In July 2001 approximately 131,000 pounds of contaminated beef trimmings were distributed nationwide. Sam’s Club members were also exposed to contaminated ground beef in 1997 when meat sold at Sam’s was included as part of the 1.2 million pounds recalled by Hudson Beef.

“Given the size of this recall and the fact that most recalled meat is never recovered, it is clear that the number of illnesses linked to Sam’s Club and Carneco will continue to rise,” said Seattle-based food safety attorney, William Marler.

Marler, whose law firm has represented over 1,000 E. coli victims over the last ten years, represented victims of the Milwaukee Sizzler outbreak as well as outbreaks in Midwestern states linked to meat producers such as AFG, Emmpak, Excel, and ConAgra and the Minnesota restaurant China Buffet.

“When people are looking for information about E. coli, they turn first to the Internet,” Marler continued. “Our firm-sponsored sites, www.about-ecoli.com, www.about-hus.com, and www.about-ttp.com, provide a wealth of information for consumers suffering from E. coli infection and its complications.”

The about-ecoli site provides information related to the symptoms and risks associated with E. coli O157:H7 infection, how E. coli is detected, possible ways to prevent infection, as well as recent news associated with outbreaks. The about-hus and about-ttp sites provide information on hemolytic uremic syndrome (HUS) and thrombotic thrombocytopenic purpura (TTP), severe complications of E. coli infection that commonly affect the young, the elderly, and people with weakened immune systems.

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BACKGROUND: William Marler represented Brianne Kiner in her $15.6 million E. coli settlement with Jack in the Box. In 1998, Marler Clark resolved the Odwalla Juice E. coli outbreak for the five families whose children developed HUS and were severely injured after consuming contaminated apple juice for $12 million. Total recoveries exceed $175 million. The partners at Marler Clark speak frequently on a variety of food safety issues.

More about the Sam's Club E. coli outbreak can be found in the Case News area of this site.