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Nebraska Beef E. coli Outbreak 2008

During June, July, and August, 2008, public health officials across the nation investigated what was ultimately determined to be an E. coli O157:H7 outbreak traced to meat produced by Nebraska Beef. The E. coli outbreak was first identified by authorities in Ohio and Michigan, who were investigating E. coli cases in their states. Subsequent investigations by other state health departments and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) indicated that E. coli cases nationwide had originated from the same source – ground beef.

The public health investigation revealed that ground beef consumers across the country had eaten before becoming ill with E. coli infections was made from meat supplied to various retail establishments and restaurants by Nebraska Beef. E. coli outbreak-cases were traced to the consumption of ground beef sold at national supermarket stores, as well as restaurants.

Kroger stores and Nebraska Beef initiated recalls associated with this E. coli outbreak. Nebraska Beef’s initial recall of 531,707 pounds of meat products was announced on June 30, and was expanded to include 5.3 million pounds of meat on July 3. Nebraska Beef’s second E. coli recall was initiated on August 8, and was expanded on August 14 to include 1.36 million pounds of ground beef products made from Nebraska Beef meat.

The CDC announced that 49 confirmed E. coli O157:H7 cases had been linked both epidemiologically and by molecular fingerprinting to the consumption of ground beef products produced with Nebraska Beef meat. The number of cases in each state was reported to be: Georgia (4), Indiana (1), Kentucky (1), Michigan (20), New York (1), Ohio (21), and Utah (1). Their illnesses began between May 27 and July 1, 2008. Twenty-seven persons had been hospitalized, and one patient was known to have developed a type of kidney failure called hemolytic-uremic syndrome (HUS).

For a complete timeline of the outbreaks and links to articles, visit the Marler Clark Nebraska Beef case news page.

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