In mid-September of 2011, Infection Control at Cincinnati Children’s Hospital Medical Center (CCHMC) notified the Butler County Health Department that laboratory testing of stool collected from a hospitalized child was positive for E. coli O157. The child’s family members had also become ill with symptoms of E. coli infection.
The Butler County Health Department launched an E. coli outbreak investigation and learned that the family had eaten spaghetti and meatballs prepared with a 5-pound chub of Kroger brand ground beef. Some of the ground beef remained in the family’s home, and was sent to the Ohio Department of Agriculture’s (ODA’s) Consumer Analytical Laboratory for testing.
On September 21, 2011, the ODA laboratory reported that 9 of 13 subsamples from the ground beef had tested positive for E. coli O157:H7, and forwarded these findings to the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s Food Safety and Inspection Service (FSIS), where it was determined that the meat and been produced by a Tyson Fresh Meats, Inc. establishment located in Emporia, Kansas.
E. coli O157:H7 illnesses among the Ohio family members along with findings of E. coli O157:H7 in ground beef collected from their home caused Tyson to voluntarily recall 131,300 pounds of ground beef on September 27, 2011. In addition to Ohio, the recalled ground beef had been distributed to and sold in Indiana, Tennessee, North Carolina, South Carolina, Delaware, Florida, Georgia, Maryland, Illinois, Indiana, Missouri, New York, Wisconsin, and Texas.
Marler Clark represented the Ohio family whose E. coli illnesses led to the Tyson beef recall in claims against the company. Their cases were resolved in July, 2012.