Antibiotic-Resistant Salmonella Beef Recalled from Western States


Beef Packers, Inc. Recalls Salmonella Beef, Safeway Begins Recall

On August 6, 2009 Beef Packers, Inc (a Cargill company) recalled approximately 826,000 pounds of beef potentially contaminated with Salmonella. According to the Department of Agriculture and FSIS (Food Safety and Inspection Service), the meat was sent to retail outlets in Arizona, Utah, Colorado, and California including Safeway and Sam's Club. Late in the day on August 6 Safeway stores initiated a recall of beef sold in their stores in 9 Western states: Arizona, California, Colorado, Hawaii, Nebraska, Nevada, New Mexico, South Dakota, and Wyoming. The majority of illnesses have been reported in Colorado and California, with additional illnesses in Wyoming. A list of California Safeway/Vons stores which sold the beef can be found here. Officials are investigating other reported illnesses in Arizona, Idaho, Illinois, Nebraska, New Mexico, Nevada, South Dakota and Texas that may be linked to the same strain of salmonella, the USDA said. Because the beef was repackaged under different retail names, USDA recommends consumers check with the store where they purchased the beef to determine whether what they bought has been recalled.

The Salmonella Outbreak in Colorado

On July 31, the Colorado Department of Public Health and Environment (CDPHE) issued an update on the on-going outbreak of Salmonella in Colorado. CDPHE announced that 21 cases of antibiotic-resistant Salmonella Newport have been reported across the state. The breakdown by county is Jefferson (4), Arapahoe (3), Broomfield (3), Denver (3), Douglas (1), Elbert (1), Garfield (1), Mesa (1), Pueblo (1) and Weld (3). Four of the Colorado victims remain hospitalized, but are recovering, the health agency said. Most of the people who fell ill with Salmonella Newport reported experiencing symptoms beginning in late June or early July, 2009. CDPHE warned consumers that ground beef they have in their freezers could be contaminated with antibiotic-resistant strains of Salmonella.

These recent drug-resistant Salmonella illnesses follow on the heels of a July 22, 2009 USDA announcement that King Soopers was recalling 466,236 pounds of ground beef for Salmonella contamination. The recalled meat was contaminated with antibiotic-resistant Salmonella (DT104).

Experience with Salmonella Litigation

Salmonella litigation is large part of Marler Clark's practice. The firm has represented people sickened by Salmonella-tainted products throughout the country, and is experienced in assisting consumers in recovering costs associated with their illnesses.

Salmonella is a bacterium that causes one of the most common intestinal illnesses in the US: Salmonellosis . It can be present in uncooked or undercooked meat, poultry, eggs, or unpasteurized dairy products, as well as other foods contaminated during harvest, production, or packaging.

Symptoms can begin 6 to 72 hours from consumption, and include diarrhea, abdominal cramps, fever, nausea, and/or vomiting. Dehydration is a concern, especially with the elderly, very young, or immune compromised.

Consumers should ask their healthcare providers to culture a stool sample. The culture will indicate if Salmonella is present and can assist in determining if the illness is part of a larger outbreak.

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