Kroger Beef Recall – E. Coli Outbreak

In the summer of 2008, more than 40 people across the United States developed E. coli food poisoning after consuming ground beef purchased at Kroger’s grocery stores. At least 14 people required hospitalization and one victim developed hemolytic uremic syndrome — a serious E. coli food poisoning complication that can cause acute renal failure. In order to hold the Kroger Company responsible for their financial, physical and psychological damages, many victims filed personal injury lawsuits seeking compensation.

Kroger’s Ground Beef Recall

In June 2008, the largest traditional grocery chain in the United States, Kroger Company, issued a recall of ground beef products distributed at the company’s stores throughout Michigan and Ohio. The recalled products had tested positive for E. coli O157:H7, a dangerous bacteria that can cause severe diarrheal illness in humans. The recall was later expanded to include Kroger’s grocery stores nationwide. While the recall of more than 34 million pounds of beef likely prevented the E. coli outbreak from spreading, more than 40 individuals were sickened with the E. coli food poisoning nonetheless. The majority of the E. coli cases occurred in Michigan and Ohio, though infections were also reported in Georgia, Indiana, Kentucky, Utah and New York.

Kroger’s E. Coli Lawsuits

A molecular fingerprinting performed by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention confirmed that the E. coli strain found in Kroger’s beef products was identical to the bacteria found in several of the victims. This identification might help victims prove that their illness was caused by defective products distributed by the Kroger Company. Proving causation is an important part of a personal injury lawsuit — the legal vehicle through which victims can compel the Kroger Company to provide compensation for the damages caused by their E. coli infection.

One of the first personal injury lawsuits against the Kroger Company was filed by a woman in suburban New Albany. The suit alleges that the Kroger Company acted negligently in selling the customer E. coli-contaminated beef patties in June, 2008. After eating the cooked patties, the woman became violently ill and had to be admitted to a Cincinnati hospital. She is seeking at least $25,000 in damages. Similar lawsuits have been filed by other victims of the E. coli outbreak seeking compensation for hospital bills, time off work and the pain and discomfort caused by the E. coli infection.

Contacting a Skilled E. coli Lawyer

E. coli outbreaks occur relatively often as some food manufacturers and distributors fail to adhere to proper hygiene and food safety guidelines. For example, the Kroger Company has issued five large-scale food recalls since 2000, most of them prompted by suspected E. coli contamination. If you believe that your symptoms or the E. coli infection of your loved one was caused by an E. coli-tainted food product, contact the law offices of Aylstock, Witkin, Kreis & Overholtz at (844) 794-7402 to learn more about obtaining compensation for your suffering. In addition to negotiating and litigating E. coli food poisoning cases, the personal injury attorneys of AWKO Law specialize in cases arising from salmonella, shigella, ciguatera and campylobacteriosis outbreaks.