Why Eating Beef May Put You at Risk for E Coli Poisoning

Food contamination lawyers at Pintas & Mullins Law Firm warn the public of the dangers of consuming beef that has been mechanically processed. A recent investigation found that the beef industry is putting consumers at risk with a new meat tenderizing process that could lead to e coli poisoning.

A Kansas City Star expose reveals the troubling and often grotesque reality of beef manufacturing. It appears that industry giants are increasingly relying on mechanical processes to tenderize meats, which heightens the risk of E. coli poisoning and other hidden dangers. What is most alarming is that most companies do not label the mechanically tenderized meat as such, leaving even the most astute consumers in the dark.

Robert Danell was one such consumer. The Minnesota man passed away in 2010 during an E. coli outbreak that sickened at least 25 people in 17 states. Officials stated that the contaminated beef more than likely came from a JBS USA-operated slaughter plant in Greeley, Colorado. Danell died of kidney failure ten days after being hospitalized. By the time physicians determined the source of his sickness, it was too late to treat.

Danell’s family is now suing JBS USA, Tyson Fresh Meats, and Beef Products Inc (BPI), alleging that JBS sold contaminated meat to BPI, which sold hamburger additive to Tyson. BPI has been the subject of numerous news reports, many of which refer to its products as pink slime. Subsequently, BPI is suing ABC News along with several other whistleblowers for more than $1 billion for the reports. BPI alleges that the reports are libelous, and that the ammonia treatment used in its hamburger additive successfully kills E. coli.

The Tyson facility in Dakota City, Nebraska is the largest beef plant in the world. Such high-speed mass-production enables Tyson to manufacture and sell its products at extraordinarily low prices, but sacrifices quality in the process. Many are arguing that this factory food is much more likely to trigger pathogen outbreaks, such as E. coli. One lawsuit against JBS and National Steak asserted that every year there are more than 73,000 illnesses linked to E. coli infections, resulting in more than 2,000 infections and 60 deaths in the United States.

For Tyson, mechanically tenderized meat means bigger profits. A recent study by the Journal of Food Protection found that mechanically tenderized steaks were two to four times more likely to be contaminated with E. coli than those that were not mechanically processed. Since 2005 almost 18 million pounds of contaminated beef has been recalled, although the effectiveness of such a recall is extremely limited. Less than half of recalled beef is ever returned.

At this point, it seems that Tyson, BPI, and JBS are merely pointing fingers at each other, none willing to take the blame for the deadly contamination. BPI recently closed three out of four of its production plants due to public backlash. Danell’s lawsuit equally blames all three companies, including several retailers, for selling unreasonably dangerous meat.

Food contamination lawyers at Pintas & Mullins Law Firm encourage the public to support mandates requiring mechanically tenderized meats to be labeled as such. E. coli contamination has sickened and killed too many innocent citizens in the name of profits. If you or someone you love was victimized by a contaminated food product, you have important legal rights.


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