Special Report

31 Food Recalls That Poisoned the Most People

Source: sergeyryzhov / iStock

31. Hudson Foods
> No. of cases: 16
> No. of deaths: 0

When the Department of Agriculture told Hudson Foods Inc. to recall 25 million pounds of beef in 1997 because of E. coli contamination, it was the largest such food recall up to that time. Hudson Foods, based in Rogers, Arkansas, also temporarily closed its Columbus, Nebraska, meat-processing facility. Hudson Foods lost its contract with Burger King, and the company was sold later that year.

Source: undefined undefined / iStock

30. Freshway Foods
> No. of cases: 26
> No. of deaths: 0

Freshway Foods voluntarily recalled packages of romaine lettuce in 2010 after the FDA notified the Sidney, Ohio-based company that an unopened sample in a laboratory in New York tested positive for E. coli. The recalled product was sold in mostly eastern states and sickened 26 people.

Source: Topps Burgers

29. Topps Meat Company
> No. of cases: 30
> No. of deaths: 0

Tainted meat from E.coli contamination forced Topps Meat Company to recall 21.7 million pounds of ground meat in 2007. The outbreak sickened 30 people. The incident doomed Topps, at the time the nation’s largest seller of frozen hamburger patties, as the company closed after the outbreak.

Source: Mike Mozart / Flickr

28. SoyNut Butter Company
> No. of cases: 32
> No. of deaths: 0

In 2017, SoyNut Butter Company, which was known for its nut-free granola products and peanut butter substitutes, was the source of a 12-state E. coli outbreak. Thirty-two people fell ill, 26 of which were children. The company filed for bankruptcy shortly after the outbreak was linked to its soy nut paste product.

Source: Justin Sullivan/Getty Images

27. Romaine lettuce
> No. of cases: 32
> No. of deaths: 0

On Nov. 20, 2018 the CDC advised all consumers to throw out any romaine that may be stocked in their refrigerators due to an outbreak of E.coli infections. So far, 32 people have been sickened among 11 states. Thirteen of the 32 people affected by the tainted vegetable were hospitalized from the bacteria, one of which had kidney failure. Not enough information is available to determine which source or sources are the culprit, which is why all products containing romaine, such as bags and boxes of precut lettuce and salad mixes, were urged to be tossed.

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