The Moultrie Observer reported on the link between ill people in Ohio and Michigan to at least nine in Georgia – “E. coli: Ground beef may be culprit.”  The common denominator here is Nebraska Beef Ltd. (Remember, the guys who sue a church).  Here is the key:

“A specimen sample from one of the patients resulted in a match to the same strain of E. coli bacteria in disease outbreaks in Michigan and Ohio, and those illnesses are linked to ground beef. “The National Centers of Disease Control and Prevention and state epidemiologists agree that ground beef may be a source of the infection in Colquitt County.”  Nebraska Beef has recalled 5,300,000 pounds of meat.

Ground beef is used in some of the dishes served in the Barbecue Pit, a Moultrie restaurant that has voluntarily closed as disease investigators attempt to find the source of E. coli O157:H7 contamination. A common thread among patients with confirmed cases of the disease is that they ate at the restaurant.

The tally of confirmed E. coli cases has now climbed to six, with three more cases still considered probable. The three “probable” E. coli patients have hemolytic uremic syndrome (HUS).  Laura Hall Bannister of Moultrie was one of the first ill reported.  Hemolytic Uremic Syndrome (D+HUS) is a severe, life-threatening complication that occurs in about 10% of those infected with E. coli O157:H7 or other Shiga toxin (Stx) producing E. coli.  D+HUS was first described in 1955, but was not known to be secondary to E. coli infections until 1982. It is now recognized as the most common cause of acute kidney failure in infants and young children.  Adolescents and adults are also susceptible, as are the elderly who often succumb to the disease.  We are now involved with at least three suits against Nebraska Beef:

Kroger E coli Outbreak Litigation

An outbreak of E. coli O157:H7 in June, 2008 was traced to Kroger stores in Ohio and Michigan. Kroger began a voluntary recall of certain ground beef products on June 25.  On June 26, it was revealed that the meat was supplied by Nebraska Beef.   Marler Clark filed the first lawsuit stemming from the outbreak on behalf of an Ohio resident on June 30, 2008.

Nebraska Beef E. coli Litigation

In 2006, meat manufactured by Nebraska Beef, distributed by Interstate Meat, and sold by Tabaka’s Supervalu was identified as the source of an E. coli outbreak among residents of and visitors to Longville, Minnesota.  An outbreak investigation conducted by the Minnesota Department of Health and Minnesota Department of Agriculture led to the conclusion that 17 people who had eaten ground beef purchased at Tabaka’s Supervalu and consumed either in private homes or at a dinner prepared at the Salem Lutheran Church in Longville had become ill with E. coli infections.  Three people developed hemolytic uremic syndrome (HUS), and one person died.

And, several E. coli cases in Georgia:

Bauer Meat E. coli Litigation – Georgia

Excel E. coli Outbreak – Georgia

White Water Water Park E. coli Outbreak – Georgia