On June 3, 2007, the United States Department of Agriculture’s Food Safety and Inspection Service (FSIS) announced that United Food Group, LLC (UFG), of Vernon, California, was recalling 75,000 pounds of ground beef due to potential E. coli O157:H7 contamination. The ground beef subject to recall had been produced by UFG on April 20, and was distributed in Arizona, California, Colorado, Oregon, and Utah. The recall was the result of a joint investigation into an E. coli O157:H7 outbreak by Colorado and California health officials in conjunction with the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC).
Public health agencies continued to receive reports of illness associated with the consumption of UFG ground beef, and on June 6 UFG expanded the recall to include 370,000 pounds of ground beef produced between April 13 and April 20. Idaho, Montana, Nevada, New Mexico, Washington, and Wyoming were added to the list of states that had received recalled meat.
By June 9, UFG had again expanded its recall to include a total of approximately 5.7 million pounds of both fresh and frozen ground beef products produced between April 6 and April 20, 2007. The California Department of Health Services, the Colorado Department of Health, and the CDC reported 14 illnesses associated with the outbreak in 6 states – Arizona, California, Colorado, Idaho, Utah, and Wyoming. All outbreak victims ate the ground beef products between April 25 and May 18. Consumers were urged to check their freezers for any recalled product.
Marler Clark represented five children in claims against United Food Group. All claims were successfully resolved.