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First Nationwide Class Action Filed on Behalf of Consumers Who Purchased Topps' E. Coli Contaminated Ground Beef

RADNOR, Pa., Oct. 3 /PRNewswire/ -- The following statement was issued today by the law firms Schiffrin Barroway Topaz & Kessler, LLP, and Janet, Jenner & Suggs, LLC:

On October 3, 2007, SCHIFFRIN BARROWAY TOPAZ & KESSLER, LLP and JANET, JENNER & SUGGS, LLC filed the first nationwide class action against TOPPS MEAT COMPANY, LLC, WAL-MART STORES, INC., PATHMARK STORES, INC., WAKEFERN FOODCORP. d/b/a SHOPRITE and RASTELLI FINE FOODS, LTD. in the United States District Court for the Western District of New York on behalf of 1) all consumers who purchased and consumed ground beef products contaminated with E. coli O157:H7; and 2) all consumers who suffered personal injuries after consuming ground beef products contaminated with E. coli O157:H7.

"This Class Action was filed to protect the rights of all victims that have been wronged by the carelessness of the manufacturer, suppliers and distributors of the contaminated ground beef products. These defendant corporations must be held accountable for not protecting basic food, health and safety," said Tobias L. Millrood, partner with Schiffrin Barroway Topaz & Kessler, LLP, in Radnor, Pennsylvania.

On September 29, 2007, Topps Meat Company, LLC, announced that it was expanding its September 25, 2007 recall to include a total of 21.7 million pounds of frozen ground beef products distributed to retail grocery stores and food service institutions, including Wal-Mart Stores, Inc., Pathmark Stores, Inc., Wakefern Foodcorp. d/b/a Shoprite and Rastelli Fine Foods, Ltd., throughout the United States. The recall now includes all products produced by Topps with a "sell by date" or "best if used by date" that falls between September 25, 2007 and September 25, 2008. All recalled products have the USDA establishment number of EST 9748 located on the back panel of the package and/or in the USDA legend. The expansion came one day after the USDA suspended the grinding of raw products at the Topps plant in Elizabeth, New Jersey after inspectors found inadequate safety measures.

According to the CDC, 25 people in eight states may have fallen ill after eating hamburgers possibly contaminated with E. coli bacteria. Three cases -- two in New York and one in Florida -- are confirmed as being linked to the ground beef, with the other 22 cases possibly linked and under investigation. Illnesses were reported in Connecticut, Florida, Indiana, Maine, New Jersey, New York, Ohio and Pennsylvania. The New Jersey Health Department has stated that there are four suspected cases under investigation.

The expanded recall now includes frozen ground beef products sold under the brand names Butcher's Best 100% all beef patties; Kohler Foods flat hamburger; Mike's seasoned beef patties; Pathmark 100% all beef burger; Rastelli's Fine Foods 100% premium beef hamburger; Roma - Topps 100% premium hamburger; Sam's Choice Backyard Gourmet Beef Burgers; Sand Castle Fine Meat 100% premium beef hamburger; Sand Castle Fine Meat Angus Chuck burger; Shop Rite 100% pure ground beef hamburgers; Shop Rite 100% pure quarter pound ground beef hamburgers; TOPPS 100% premium hamburger; TOPPS 100% pure ground beef hamburgers; TOPPS sirloin steak burgers; and West Side 100% premium hamburger.

An investigation into a cluster of illnesses in the Northeast region carried out by the New York State Department of Health in coordination with the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention led to a positive product sample collected by the New York Department of Health.

E. coli O157:H7 is a potentially deadly bacterium that can cause bloody diarrhea and dehydration. The very young, seniors and persons with compromised immune systems are the most susceptible to foodborne illness.

"Consumers should have an expectation that food products labeled 100% PURE should be safe for human consumption and not be concerned that their food is contaminated with a potentially lethal bacteria," said Robert K. Jenner, partner with Janet, Jenner & Suggs, LLC in Baltimore, Maryland.

If you or anyone you know believes that you have contracted E. coli as a result of consuming the recalled meat products and want to discuss your rights, please contact either Schiffrin Barroway Topaz & Kessler, LLP (Tobias L. Millrood, Esq. or Hal J. Kleinman, Esq.) toll free at 1-888-348-6787 or 1-610-822-0249 or via e-mail at or Janet, Jenner & Suggs, LLC (Robert K. Jenner, Esq. or Gerald D. Jowers, Esq.) toll free at 1-888-463-3529 or 1-410-653-3200 or via e-mail at The two law firms are working as a joint venture on behalf of consumers nationwide who have been aggrieved by contaminated meat from Topps Meat.

For more information about the law firms or about foodborne illnesses, please visit

CONTACT: Schiffrin Barroway Topaz & Kessler, LLP

Tobias L. Millrood, Esq.

Hal J. Kleinman, Esq.

280 King of Prussia Road

Radnor, PA 19087

1-888-348-6787 (toll free) or 1-610-822-0249

Or by e-mail at

Janet, Jenner & Suggs, LLC

Robert K. Jenner, Esq.

Gerald D. Jowers, Jr., Esq.

Woodholme Center

1829 Reisterstown Road, Suite 320

Baltimore, Maryland 21208

1-888-463-3529 (toll free) or 1-410-653-3200

Or by e-mail at

SOURCE Schiffrin Barroway Topaz & Kessler, LLP and Janet, Jenner& Suggs,
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