Possible E. coli Contamination Linked to Recall of Cheese by Whole Foods

Saturday, January 29th, 2011

Recently, Whole Foods Market announced a recall on several cheese products supplied by Sally Jackson Cheese of Oroville, Washington due to possible contamination with E. coli O157:H7 bacteria.  These recalled products were sold in California, Nevada, Washington State and Washington, D.C.

Some of these products include cow, goat and sheep cheese products, which were wrapped in clear plastic wrap with the Whole Foods Market label.  On some of these labels, “Sally Jackson” is listed as part of the description.

The products recalled include:

Cow’s milk cheese wrapped in chestnut leaves
Sheep’s milk cheese wrapped in chestnut leaves
Goat’s milk cheese wrapped in grape leaves
All cow’s milk cheese, goat’s milk cheese and sheep’s milk cheese

When the FDA released their findings of inspections performed at the Sally Jackson Cheese facility, some details were a bit alarming:

Hand washing seems to be one problem; the owner of the facility was seen handling cheese and wrapping it after milking and feeding livestock with no hand washing in between.  The owner was also observed wearing manure soiled clothing during the production of cheese, and while handling finished cheese and utensils.

The facility was observed to have grime and black mold-like deposits in several locations, including wood shelves, cheese storage boxes, the ceiling and work tables.

Handwashing seems to be of little consequence at the facility, as the hand washing sink had a drain pipe and water lines that were disconnected.  In the processing room itself, no soap or towels were available.

Well water supplied at the Sally Jackson facility is currently not in microbiological compliance, with unsatisfactory coliform levels.

The facility in general was in disrepair, with holes in the ceiling, peeling plaster and paint, and undressed wood including storage shelving, window sills and ceiling supports.  Ceilings and walls revealed evidence of water damage as well.

Over the past several weeks, 8 people had become ill with E. coli food poisoning but it took investigators a good while to determine the source, which eventually was found to be Sally Jackson cheese.  The owner was cited for unsanitary practices; she has now decided to close down the facility.

Consuming foods tainted with E. coli usually results in mild symptoms that may last only a few days; these symptoms include abdominal cramps, diarrhea, nausea and occasional vomiting.  Certain individuals are at an increased risk of serious complications.

Brown Chiari is a leading New York food poisoning law firm specializing in protecting the rights of those who have become ill after consuming contaminated foods. Find out more about our Buffalo personal injury attorneys.

Zillman Meat Market in Wisconsin Linked to 4 E. Coli Illnesses

Saturday, January 29th, 2011

Recently, 4 people became ill after eating wild game that was processed by Zillman Meat Market in Wausau, Wisconsin.  According to officials, one of the 4 individuals had to be hospitalized.  The outbreak was announced on December 23rd; the Marathon County Health Department has urged those who have purchased the smoked ready-to-eat meat products not to consume them.

Hunters typically bring their own meat in to the market to be processed in to ready-to-eat products, but have been advised not to eat their own meat if it was processed between the dates of September 30th and November 13th.  According to Ruth Klee Marx, a health department epidemiologist, the only items being investigated at the present time are those that were processed between these dates.

Officials of the health department and Zillman’s Market are participating in a “thorough cleaning” over the next few days according to Marx.  The source of the E. coli contamination is still under investigation.  The contamination was revealed to health department officials after several doctors in the area reported E. coli illnesses.

Marx also stated that there was no unusual risk to those who purchase fresh meat from Zillman’s to prepare for holiday meals.  She stated that people need to be aware the proper cooking is always necessary when dealing with fresh meat, as there is always a risk of bacterial contamination.

The owner of the market, Pat Zillman, stated that he and staff members are cooperating fully with the health department, and that all requested information has been provided to officials.  Zillman stated that although he didn’t know how this happened, customer safety is always the number one priority.  The market has been in business for 50 years.

Individuals with E. coli typically experience diarrhea (sometimes bloody), vomiting, abdominal cramps and occasional fever.  Some individuals are at an increased risk of serious complications, including HUS which is the leading cause of acute kidney failure in young children and infants.  Those most at risk from E. coli infections include young children, those who are frail or elderly, and individuals with weakened immune systems.  If you are injured and need an E. Coli food poisoning attorney, consider contacting the personal injury attorneys in Buffalo NY at Brown Chiari.

Chicago, IL Company Recalls 200 Pounds of Ground Beef

Wednesday, January 19th, 2011

Columbus Meat Market, Inc. recalled 200 pounds of ground beef patties due to possible E. coli contamination according to the Illinois Department of Agriculture.  The establishment, located in Chicago, produced these patties on December 27, 2010 and shipped to food-handling customers in the Chicago area.  To date, no illnesses have been reported in relation to the tainted beef.

The problem was discovered through microbiological sampling performed by the Illinois Department of Agriculture, which revealed the presence of E. coli O157:H7.  Labels on these products bear an establishment number of “EST. 755″ and a packaging date of 12/27/10.

Illinois has been hit hard by contaminated food products in recent weeks. In fact, this is the third major recall to hit Illinois lately, the most recent being desserts from Rolf’s Patisserie which resulted in reports of approximately 100 illnesses.  The recent salmonella outbreak involving alfalfa sprouts that has reportedly sickened over 100 people across several states is also being investigated by Illinois health officials.

E. coli can cause dehydration, nausea, bloody diarrhea and abdominal cramps; in more serious cases, kidney failure can occur.  Those who are elderly, small children, or individuals who have a weakened immune system are most susceptible to serious complications caused by foodborne illnesses.  Any person at high risk who develops symptoms of food poisoning should consult their doctor immediately.

Brown Chiari is a reputable New York food poisoning law firm specializing in protecting the rights of those who become ill after consuming contaminated foods.  Also a respected personal injury law firm in Buffalo NY – Please contact us with any questions or concerns you have regarding food poisoning.

New York Meat Market Recalls Ground Beef Due to Presence of E Coli

Monday, January 3rd, 2011

Hamilton Corner Meat Market, Inc., of New York, New York has recalled all packages of in-store ground beef that was sold on a per-order basis on November 15th after it was discovered that the beef was tainted with E Coli O157:H7.

The tainted ground beef was sold in the meat department, and only at the 1 Hamilton Place location.  So far, no illnesses have been reported in relation to the contaminated ground beef.  Sales of the product have been suspended, and the ground beef in question contains no date or UPC codes.

E Coli was detected following sampling by the New York State Department of Agriculture and Markets food inspectors in which Food Laboratory personnel conducted an analysis of the ground beef.

Consumers who bought the ground beef on November 15th are asked to return it to the store or discard it.

While E. Coli food poisoning usually causes only mild symptoms in healthy individuals such as diarrhea, abdominal cramps, nausea and occasional fever, it can lead to serious risks and complications in some individuals.  Those who are elderly, young children, or who have weakened or compromised immune systems should seek medical attention at once if you suspect E. Coli food poisoning.

HUS (hemolytic uremic syndrome) is a serious complication that may develop in young children and the elderly.  This condition has the potential to lead to serious kidney damage and may be fatal.

Those who have become ill after eating foods tainted with E. Coli or other parasites may have rights in regard to compensation of costs related to their illness.  Contact a dedicated New York food poisoning attorney to learn about your rights, and whether you may be eligible for compensation.