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Nebraska Beef E. coli Outbreak Lawsuits (2006)

In 2006, meat manufactured by Nebraska Beef, distributed by Interstate Meat, and sold by Tabaka’s Supervalu was identified as the source of an E. coli outbreak among residents of and visitors to Longville, Minnesota. An outbreak investigation conducted by the Minnesota Department of Health and Minnesota Department of Agriculture led to the conclusion that 17 people who had eaten ground beef purchased at Tabaka’s Supervalu and consumed either in private homes or at a dinner prepared at the Salem Lutheran Church in Longville had become ill with E. coli infections. Three people developed hemolytic uremic syndrome (HUS), and one person died.

MDH concluded:

The isolation of the rare outbreak PFGE subtype of E. coli O157:H7 from a sample of beef trimmings from a USDA-inspected plant in the weeks prior to the outbreak suggests that the chuck rolls that were used to produce the ground beef at the store were likely already contaminated when received in the store. … records that were available from the Tabaka’s Supervalu and [Interstate Meat] suggested that the ultimate source of the implicated chuck rolls was [Nebraska Beef].

The lawyers at Marler Clark filed three E. coli lawsuits against Nebraska Beef, Interstate Meat, and Tabaka’s Supervalu in October of 2007. The lawsuits were filed on behalf of a man and two women who became ill with E. coli infections, and the family of a woman who died after eating the contaminated meat. All of the cases have been resolved.

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