Sizzler E. coli OutbreakIn July of 2000, hundreds of people became ill during an E. coli outbreak associated with Sizzler restaurants in Wisconsin. 64 cases were confirmed by lab testing for E. coli, while public health officials counted 551 probable E. coli cases and another 122 possible cases. Dozens of E. coli outbreak victims were hospitalized; 4 developed hemolytic uremic syndrome (HUS) and one child died.
An identical strain of E. coli O157:H7 was isolated from victims' stool and from samples of raw chunky taco meat and sirloin tri-tips found at one Sizzler restaurant.
The Wisconsin Department of Health concluded that the outbreak was caused when employees cross-contaminated fresh watermelon with raw meat products, “and the raw sirloin tri-tip were the source of the E. coli O157:H7 organism in this outbreak.”
Marler Clark represented 18 clients in claims against Sizzler and Excel. The firm resolved the Sizzler E. coli outbreak cases in 2005, after several years of complex litigation and appeals.
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