French boy permanently disabled by E. coli in frozen beef

In June, 2011, eight children in Northern France were initially diagnosed with E. coli O157 after eating beef burgers bought from German discount retailer, Lidl.

In May 2012, the Institut de veille sanitaire summarized the outbreak, and revealed 17 children were sickened, 16 from E. coli O157-O177 and 1 due to E. coli O157-O26.

Now, a trial has begun for two former executives of French frozen food company SEB, charged with a “deliberate violation of safety obligations” that put customers at risk and caused involuntary injuries. Their trial began on Tuesday, June 6, and the two men face prison if convicted.

SEB has since gone out of business.

According to The Local, in 2011 a two-year-old boy named Nolan Moittie was one of 17 people in France who became seriously ill after eating steak hachés, or chopped steak patties, that were contaminated with E. coli bacteria, and which had been sold frozen at a Lidl grocery store. The illness caused the two-year-old boy to have a heart attack and fall into a coma while in the hospital.

The E. coli infection caused irreversible damage, and while Moittie survived and is now eight years old, he can’t talk and no longer has the use of 80 percent of his body. Doctors say the damage is irreversible.

But neither man is accepting responsibility and the defense is claiming that the illness from the minced beef was a result of consumers not storing and preparing them properly. 
Just cook it doesn’t cut it.
“Money as they say, won’t bring you happiness,  and it won’t help my son get back to how he was before,” his mother Priscilla said.
Steak hachés are a staple dish in France, particularly among children. In 2009 some 250,000 tonnes were sold, half of which were sold as frozen products.
  • Albert Amgar

    Here is the right link of the Institut de Veille Sanitaire’s study, Outbreak of infection of sorbitol fermenting Shiga-toxin producing Escherichia coli O157:[H7] linked to the consumption of ground beef

    France – June-July 2011

    An outbreak of infections of Shiga-toxin producing Escherichia coli occurred in France in June-July 2011. Eighteen cases were identified. The cases were children aged from 6 months to 10 years who developed Haemomytic ureamic syndrome after an initial episode of diarrhoea. Cases had onset of symptoms between 06/06/2011 and 15/07/2011. Fourteen cases lived in the Nord-Pas-de-Calais region. Sixteen cases were due to the E. coli serogroupe O157, 1 to the serogroupes O157-O177 and 1 due to serogroupes O157-O26. All strains isolated from patient stool samples were non-motile and fermented sorbitol, a very rare characteristic for strains of E. coli O157 isolated in France. The epidemiological, microbiological and food trace-back investigations showed that the outbreak was linked to the consumption of ground beef (beef burgers). This outbreak, the second identified in France in association with the consumption of ground beef products, reminds us of the importance of thoroughly cooking beef burgers destined for consumption by young children.