Food Safety Lawyer Questions Timeliness of JBS Swift Beef
of Article: http://www.prweb.com/releases/2009/07/prweb2611124.htm\
It took two months
before the Food Safety and Inspection Service fully caught on to an an
outbreak of E. coli O157:H7 associated with beef cuts from a Colorado
meatpacker. By then, at least 18 people had become infected by the
bacteria, which ended up in store-packaged hamburger in many cases.
National food safety lawyer Fred Pritzker is calling for the USDA to
investigate the delay in notifying the public to a potentially lethal
Minneapolis, Minnesota (PRWEB) July 8, 2009 -- National food
safety lawyer Fred Pritzker issued the following statement, calling for the
United States Department of Agriculture to investigate why it took so long
for the public to be notified of a deadly threat of E. coli 0157:H7 in beef
produced April 21 by JBS Swift Beef Co. of Greeley, Colorado.
It was first announced
June 28 by USDA's Food Safety and Inspection Service http://www.fsis.usda.gov/News_&_Events/Recall_034_2009_Expanded/index.asp
that an investigation into at least 18 matching E. coli illnesses was
related to a large recall of beef by JBS Swift. The firm has recalled
421,000 pounds of cut beef produced April 21 and 22 because it may be
contaminated with the same strain of E. coli O157:H7 that was causing the
"It's disturbing and
dangerous that more than two months went by before consumers received
information of a possible link between tainted meat and an outbreak of
potentially lethal E. coli illnesses,'' said Fred Pritzker, a national food
safety lawyer whose firm, Pritzker Olsen, P.A., represents victims in
practically every major outbreak of foodborne illness.
Pritzker said, "The
FSIS is responsible for the safety of our meat supply and it should have
been more aggressive in protecting consumers from a foodborne pathogen that
is especially dangerous to small children, the elderly and others who have
weakened immune systems.''
According to a report by
The Associated Press http://www.google.com/hostednews/ap/article/ALeqM5iMC6NXcYwx69vXhgNTnA9JVceahQD995V5K00,
FSIS initially took a sample of beef from JBS Swift on May 21 that tested
positive for the outbreak strain of E. coli. "Because that beef did
not enter the food supply, officials did not urge a recall,'' the story
The AP quoted an FSIS
spokesman, who said that the agency urged the recall that took place a
month later after it conducted a follow-up investigation, which included
information about reported illnesses. Pritzker said the delay raises
questions about a possible lack of thoroughness and urgency with regard to
FSIS oversight in the case of this outbreak.
The Centers for Disease
Control and Prevention (CDC) has characterized the outbreak as infecting at
least 23 people in nine states. At least 12 victims were hospitalized,
including two patients who suffered a severe complication known as HUS, or
hemolytic uremic syndrome, a type of kidney failure.
Pritzker Olsen is one of
America's most experienced foodborne illness law firms, representing
victims of food poisoning nationwide.
The firm has collected
millions of dollars on behalf of victims of foodborne illnesses. For more
information, visit http://www.pritzkerlaw.com
or contact firm president Fred Pritzker at 1-888-377-8900, or email him at
fhp(at)pritzkerlaw(dot)com. Pritzker Olsen has offices at Plaza VII, Suite
2950, 45 South Seventh Street, Minneapolis, Minnesota, 55402.