Valley Meat Company E. coli Recall and Outbreak, 2010


On the morning of August 6, the Food Safety Inspection Service (FSIS) announced that Valley Meat Company of Modesto, CA was recalling one million pounds of frozen ground beef and beef patties due contamination with E. coli O157:H7, a potentially deadly bacterium. The California Department of Public Health (CDPH) had been investigating a cluster of 7 E. coli illnesses, which led them to the the Valley Meat Company products.

The products subject to recall bear the establishment number "EST. 8268" inside the USDA mark of inspection as well as a production code of 25709 through 01210. These products were produced between the dates of Oct. 2, 2009 through Jan. 12, 2010 and were distributed to retail outlets and institutional foodservice providers in California, Texas, Oregon, Arizona and internationally. When available, the list of businesses where the meat was distributed will be posted on FSIS' website. A full list of the recalled E. coli meat has already been posted by FSIS.

Escherichia coli or E. coli are bacterial germs that inhabit the intestinal tracts of animals. Many strains (also called serotypes) are harmless or even beneficial, but there are 6-7 illness causing strains, called Shiga toxins. The most prevalent and well known of these is E. coli O157:H7. Food or water can become contaminated with E. coli bacteria from animal manure, usually cattle. E. coli has been found in vegetables that were contaminated in the field, in water contaminated with animal runoff, in unpasteurized dairy products (like raw milk) or juices, and in meat contaminated in the slaughterhouse or processing facility.

The first symptom of E. coli infection is the onset of abdominal pain and severe cramps, followed within 24 hours by diarrhea, often bloody. This is hemorrhagic colitis, and it typically occurs within 2 to 5 days of ingestion of E. coli; however the incubation period—the time between the ingestion of E. coli bacteria and the onset of illness—may be as broad as 1 to 10 days.

The E. coli attorneys at Marler Clark have been representing victims of E. coli infection for more than 17 years. As the foremost law firm representing victims of E. coli, Marler Clark is expert in assisting families that are dealing with a severe illness make sure they receive the proper medical care as well as compensation for the extraordinary costs that a severe illness may incur. If you think you or a family member may have been infected with E. coli, seek medical attention and make sure a stool sample obtained. Contact us to speak to an E. coli expert at no cost to you.

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