A joint investigation between WDPH and other public health agencies, including the United States Department of Agriculture’s Food Safety and Inspection Service (FSIS) led to the conclusion that the source of the E. coli outbreak was ground beef produced by Emmpak, a subsidiary of Cargill. As a result of this investigation, Emmpak recalled 500,000 pounds of ground beef for suspected E. coli contamination. Shortly thereafter, the firm expanded its recall to include 2.8 millions of potentially E. coli-contaminated meat.
During an inspection of the Emmpak meat processing facility, FSIS determined Emmpak’s sampling and E. coli testing procedures to be inadequate, and the Emmpak was closed for a period of time.
Marler Clark’s E. coli lawyers represented two Wisconsin women who became ill with E. coli infections during the outbreak traced to Emmpak’s ground beef products. The firm filed an E. coli lawsuit against Emmpak and Cargill in October of 2002; all claims the lawyers brought against Emmpak were resolved in 2003.