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JBS Swift E. coli Outbreak

On June 28, 2009, the United States Department of Agriculture’s Food Safety and Inspection Service (FSIS) announced that as many as 24 E. coli O157:H7 cases associated with the consumption of meat produced by JBS Swift Beef Company had been identified in several states. Traceback information and laboratory data indicated that JBS Swift Beef Company assorted beef primal cuts produced in April were the source of this E. coli outbreak.

In the June 28 E. coli outbreak announcement, FSIS stated that JBS Swift was recalling 380,000 pounds of beef primal products for potential E. coli O157:H7 contamination. The products were produced on April 21, 2009, and were distributed both nationally and internationally. All of these meat products were sent to establishments and retail stores nationwide for further processing into products such as boxed beef typically used for steaks and roasts rather than for ground beef; however, FSIS stated that some of the meat may have been further processed into ground beef products and that the highest risk products for consumers are raw ground beef, trim, or other non-intact beef cuts made form the recalled products.

On July 1, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) announced that 23 people from nine states had become ill with E. coli infections after consuming JBS Swift beef and that testing by the Michigan Public Health Laboratory had isolated E. coli matching the DNA fingerprint of the outbreak strain from unopened packages of ground beef recovered from an ill person's home. According to the CDC, at least 12 people have been hospitalized due to their E. coli infections, two with hemolytic uremic syndrome (HUS).

JBS Swift and FSIS released a list of stores that had received recalled product on July 2, 2009. Potentially E. coli-contaminated JBS Swift meat products were distributed to the following retail outlets:

  • BJ”s Wholesale Clubs
Bloom and Food Lion StoresCostcoFood 4 LessFry’s Food and Drug StoresHannaford Bros. Co.KrogerPrice ChopperRoundy’s SupermarketsSmith’s Food and Drug StoresStop & Shop WinCo Foods

Marler Clark filed three E. coli lawsuits against JBS Swift on behalf of victims of the 2009 E. coli outbreak in the summer of 2009.

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