A consumer has filed a lawsuit alleging that he contracted Salmonella from beef supplied to a restaurant by JBS Tolleson Inc. Rozich v. JBS Tolleson Inc., No. 18-1929 (D. Nev., filed October 8, 2018). The plaintiff alleges his infection stemmed from an outbreak of Salmonella that resulted in JBS recalling nearly seven million pounds of beef on October 4, 2018. The complaint cites a July 2017 notice from the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s Food Safety and Inspection Service purportedly alleging a JBS facility president enabled “‘egregious’ and ‘inhumane’ practices with livestock.” The plaintiff seeks damages and costs for allegations of strict product liability, negligence and breach of warranty.
The U.S. Department of Agriculture’s (USDA’s) Food Safety & Inspection Service (FSIS) has issued guidance about new labeling requirements for raw or partially cooked mechanically tenderized beef products, including those injected with marinade or solution. In addition to stating that the products have been mechanically, blade or needle tenderized, the labels must also provide cooking instructions to ensure their proper handling by household consumers, restaurants and similar venues. Because mechanical tenderization has been linked to the possible introduction of pathogens into the interior of beef products, certain cooking time and temperature combinations can prevent foodborne illness. The labeling mandate takes effect in May 2016 or one year after the new requirements are published in the Federal Register. See USDA Press Release, May 13, 2015. Issue 565