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Additional E. Coli Illnesses May Be Linked to JBS Swift's Beef Recall.

Food Safety Law Firm Investigating Outbreak

CUYAHOGA COUNTY, Ohio -- The headline of the release should read: Additional E. Coli Illnesses May Be Linked to JBS Swift's Beef Recall (sted Additional E. Coli Illnesses May Be Linked to National Beef Recall)

The corrected release reads:

ADDITIONAL E. COLI ILLNESSES MAY BE LINKED TO JBS SWIFT'S BEEF RECALL

A national cluster of E. coli 0157:H7 illnesses are linked to beef recalled by JBS Swift. Twenty-three illnesses in nine states are under investigation by the CDC, and additional cases may still be unreported.

Last week, three children in Cuyahoga County were hospitalized for E. coli 0157:H7. Two additional E. coli cases are under investigation. Health agencies are exploring any possible link between the JBS Swift E. coli outbreak and these recently reported illnesses.

"Many times people will hear about a recall with an unfamiliar brand name and ignore it. What many don't realize is that JBS Swift beef is sold under a variety of names. You may have purchased beef at your grocer and unknowingly purchased a JBS Swift product," said food safety lawyer Richard J. Arsenault.

Once a contaminated product enters the home, the true battle begins. As few as 10 E. coli bacteria (small enough to fit on the tip of a pin) can cause serious, potentially deadly infections in adults and children. In addition to eating or handling undercooked meat, many illnesses occur by contacting a surface or item that was cross-contaminated by the tainted meat.

"Safe handling of meat and cooking it to 160 degrees (F) goes a long way to fight E. coli infections; however, these precautions are no silver bullet. The best way to prevent people--especially children--from being sickened by E. coli is to not have the deadly pathogen in the meat to begin with, and that responsibility lies with the manufacturer, not the customer," Arsenault added.

Arsenault's firm represents victims of E. coli 0157:H7 across the country, including those with hemolytic uremic syndrome (HUS), a devastating condition that causes kidney failure. Arsenault and his partners have represented victims of some of the nation's largest food safety lapses.

"When you pay for a product, you are paying for it on the assumption that it is safe. When that 'safe' product turns out to be harmful to you and your family, it's a betrayal of trust," Arsenault said.

On June 25, JBS Swift expanded a recall to include nearly 400,000 pounds of meat possibly contaminated with E. coli 0157:H7. Symptoms of an E. coli O157:H7 infection include severe stomach cramps, diarrhea (often bloody), and vomiting.

About Neblett, Beard & Arsenault

Neblett, Beard & Arsenault is a nationally recognized law firm that has been representing victims across the country in foodborne illness and injury litigation for nearly three decades. Arsenault and his partners have secured billions of dollars in recoveries and have played leading roles in some of the nation's largest litigation. This has led to recognition for Arsenault by peer reviewed publications and by the National Law Journal for securing one of the largest individual injury verdicts in the U.S.
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Publication:Business Wire
Date:Jul 7, 2009
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