June 19, 2024

Deadly E. coli O26 Outbreak Linked to Cargill Meat Solutions Ground Beef; Lawsuits May Be Filed

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) has released information about the deadly E. coli O26 outbreak linked to recalled ground beef from Cargill Meat Solutions. This outbreak has already been declared over. The link to Cargill beef was just announced yesterday by the FDA. The outbreak was originally announced in a USDA recall by Publix grocery stores in Florida.

Cargill Ground Beef E. coli O26 Outbreak 92118

Eighteen people in four states were sickened in this E. coli O26 outbreak. Six of those patients were hospitalized because they were so ill. One person died. The case count by state is: Colorado (1), Florida (15), Massachusetts (1), and Tennessee (1). Illness onset dates ranged from July 5, 2018 to July 25, 2018. The person who died lived in Florida.

The patient age range in this E. coli O26 outbreak is from one year to 75. Most of those sickened were male. Of 18 people who were interviewed, six, or 33%, were hospitalized, including the person who died.

Attorney Fred Pritzker

You can contact food safety attorney Fred Pritzker for help by calling 1-888-377-8900 or 612-338-0202.

Food safety attorney Fred Pritzker, who has represented many clients sickened with E. coli infections and HUS, said, “It is simply tragic that someone died and that so many people were sickened just because they bought ground beef from a grocery store. Processors must do a better job making sure that the product they sell is safe to eat.”

Cargill Meat Solutions from Fort Morgan, Colorado recalled ground beef products on September 19, 2018. They were produced and packaged on June 21, 2018 and were shipped to retailers nationwide. The products were labeled with the establishment number “EST. 86R” inside  the USDA mark of inspection.

One person did develop hemolytic uremic syndrome (HUS), a type of kidney failure. This is a complication of E. coli infections that can cause kidney failure, strokes, and seizures.

Public health investigators used the PulseNet system to find people who may be part of this E. coli O26 outbreak. Whole genome sequencing performed on E. coli from ill persons showed they were closely related genetically. That means the sick people were likely to share a common source of infection.

In interviews, ill persons were asked about the foods they ate the week before they got sick. Fourteen of fourteen people interviewed said they ate ground beef, purchased from several different grocery stores.

Traceback investigations were conducted. Most people bought the ground beef from various Publix stores. Cargill Meat Solutions was identified as the source of the contaminated ground beef linked to these illnesses. Lab testing identified the outbreak strain of E. coli O26 in leftover ground beef collected form the home of one ill person in Florida.

The symptoms of an E. coli O26 infection include severe and painful stomach cramps, nausea, vomiting, and diarrhea that is bloody and watery. The symptoms of HUS include little or no urine output, lethargy, easy bruising, pallor, and bleeding from the nose or mouth.



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