More than 265 tons of ground beef are being removed from store shelves in over 20 states because it may be contaminated with E. coli. According to the Agriculture Department , the beef is responsible for over 40 illnesses.
Of those that became ill, 19 had to be hospitalized for food poisoning and one patient developed hemolytic uremic syndrome (HUS), a type of kidney failure.
The Kroger Company recalled all their beef from Nebraska Beef Ltd, one of their suppliers, that was produced in May or later after reports linked the beef to illnesses in Ohio and Michigan . The contaminated beef had sell-by dates from May 21 to July 5. The recall has been labeled as Class 1, the most serious kind.
Nebraska Beef reported that some of the contaminated beef was sent to Illinois , New York , and Pennsylvania . Some of the beef was sent to Colorado and Texas for processing, but authorities do not know if any of the beef was distributed there.
The company has also expanded its recall to cover products with different sell-by dates. The expanded recall applies to its ground beef products in Styrofoam tray packages, either wrapped in clear cellophane or purchased from in-store service counters in an expanded area that includes Michigan , Ohio , Tennessee , Georgia , South Carolina and Alabama .
The expanded recall includes ground beef sold at Fred Meyer, QFC, Ralphs, Smith's, Baker's, King Soopers, City Markets, Hilander, Owen's, Pay Less and Scott's with overlapping sell-by dates from mid-May through mid-July.
Kroger has stated that it has had all the potentially contaminated beef removed from stores and wants consumers to check the ground beef in their freezers and refrigerators for products that have been recalled. For a list of recalled products visit The Kroger Company’s website.
Now consumers who have been affected by the contaminated meat are filing lawsuits against the Kroger Co. Amanda Adam from New Albany , who was sickened with E. coli, filed a suit Monday against Kroger and the beef-supplier. The lawsuit accuses Kroger of being negligent and is seeking $25,000 or more in damages.
Adam’s claims that she purchased two beef patties from a Kroger store in Dublin on June 4 and became ill on June 8. She was admitted to the Cincinnati hospital on June 10, fifteen days before Kroger recalled its ground beef.
Zachary Everhart, who was also sickened by the contaminated beef, plans on filing a product liability claim against Kroger and its beef supplier. He wants to have his medical bills paid for and wants to send a message to those who sell, prepare, and process food products to be more attentive and careful.
This has not been the first ground beef recall for Kroger. The company has been involved in four recalls with meat suppliers and processors since 2001.
E.coli bacteria can cause serious illness in people who have weakened immune systems such as elderly people, young children and people with underlying illnesses. The typical symptoms of E.coli include diarrhea, stomach pain, vomiting and fever. Most people recover within five to seven days.