Oregon grocer and his beef supplier divided over who is paying the costs of the outbreak



A grocer wants to recover more than $ 2.7 million from his beef supplier for an incident involving the sale of product contaminated with E. coli O157: H7.

The claim of New Seasons Market LLC and New Leaf Community Markets Inc. filed in the Oregon Circuit Court in Portland was filed against Country Natural Beef Inc. and Oregon Country Beef. Sales took place in 2019.

New Seasons operates a full-service grocery chain in Oregon, Washington State and Northern California. Since its founding, the grocery chain has featured local producers like Country Nature Beef. It supplied the stores with “premium and delicious” beef products from cattle raised without antibiotics, added growth hormones or growth promoters.

According to the complaint, New Seasons stores relied on Country Natural Beef for “uncontaminated consumer grade beef products.”

As October and November 2019 approached, New Seasons made regular “fully paid” purchases for its stores from Country Natural Beef for stores in Portland and surrounding areas.

On November 8, 2019, the Oregon Health Authority (OHA) and the Oregon Department of Agriculture (ODA) told New Seasons the illnesses were caused by beef sold in their stores because it was contaminated. by E. coli O157: H7.

New Seasons has agreed to immediately end all sales of ground beef and beef products and begin recalling products that the OHA and ODA suspected of containing the bacteria. New Season stores removed beef products from their storefront and ceased all sales, which lasted one to three months.

The initial recall notices were extended to include all-beef products packaged from October 19, 2019 through November 8, 2019, with best before dates from October 23, 2019 through November 11, 2019. According to New Seasons, the recall brought many of its customers to return their beef purchases to their stores.

IEH Laboratories & Consulting Group, the independent testing laboratory in Oregon, found E. coli O157: H7 in two beef samples taken from a New Seasons beef counter, and ground beef at 20 percent fat. was provided by Country Natural Beef.

New Seasons credits Redmond, Oregon-based Country Natural Beef with conducting a “root cause analysis” of the E. coli and the implementation of a new testing policy.

But, New Seasons reports that it has suffered “significant losses”, which may not have ended:

“These losses include, without limitation, the following, all of which were reasonably and necessarily incurred by New Seasons in the circumstances: (i) expenses associated with the issuance and implementation of the recall; (ii) loss of property damage resulting from the disposal of all ground beef and beef products affected by the recall (as well as refunds to customers); (iii) expenses associated with non-regular cleaning of New Seasons stores; (iv) expenses associated with the investigation of the source of contamination by E. coli O157: H7; (v) professional and consulting fees related to the E. coli O157: H7 and the resulting boost; (vi) operating losses, including loss of income resulting from the suspension of sales of ground beef and other beef products; and (vii) loss of goodwill.

In its complaint, New Seasons cites several complaints, complaints and inquiries from customers that may have been adversely affected by the outbreak. At the time of filing the complaint, New Seasons said its damages amounted to more than $ 2.7 million.

New Seasons is suing to recover damages used for breach of contract, breach of implied warranty, common law indemnity and negligence claims.

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