Wolverine Packing Co. is now at the center of an outbreak of E. coli O157:H7 that has at least 11 victims so far, though many more are likely to be identified. The recall is of nearly 1000 tons of beef – spanning at least Florida, Michigan, Ohio, North Dakota, Illinois, Indiana, Kentucky, Pennsylvania, Tennessee, and Wisconsin.
The largest retailer named by the USDA is Gordon Food Service Marketplace, with stores in at least 9 states affected by this outbreak. In addition to Gordon Food Service Marketplace , in Florida, Surf N Turf and Giorgio’s Italian Deli are affected; in Michigan, M Sixty Six General Store is affected; in North Dakota, Supervalu stores are affected; and in Ohio, Butchtel Food Markets are affected. The product being recalled from theses stores includes 97 pages of descriptions and codes. See the USDA list here.
In this outbreak, at least 5 individuals have now been identified in Ohio, in addition to the six in Michigan. At least two of the initial three were confirmed to have eaten at the same restaurant. According to Toledo-Lucas County Health Department official, David Grossman, this led state investigators to initially focus only on that restaurant. Ironically, early reports for Michigan’s five affected counties also focused on a small set of restaurants. But when cases in Michigan matched the outbreak strain seen in Ohio, the CDC and USDA became actively involved, leading investigators to the fact that the same ground beef was also widely distributed to Gordon Food Service Marketplace, among other locations, leading to the fear that many more individuals could be exposed to this potentially deadly bacteria. [Speak to a food poisoning lawyer about your food poisoning lawsuit.]
There is not yet any confirmation that any of the victims became infected after preparing the ground beef in their own homes.
Identified Victims in Ohio Ages 7, 19, 23 and 42
One of Ohio’s confirmed cases includes a 19-year-old student attending Kent State University. Like many E. coli victims, he was hospitalized – in his case, he was admitted on April 28for 11 days. At least half of all victims, for whom information is available, have been hospitalized in this outbreak.