Processing plant sued by family of Maine boy

  • Workers cut beef into sections at PT Farm meat processing plant in North Haverhill, N.H., in September 2012. (Valley News — Sarah Priestap)

Monitor staff
Published: 8/12/2016 12:12:02 AM

The family of a Maine boy has sued the meat processing plant in Northern New Hampshire that processed 8,800 pounds of beef that was recalled after several people became ill with E. coli last month.

Sarah Monks, who lives in York County, Maine, is suing PT Farm of North Haverhill, saying ground beef processed at the facility made her 9-year-old son so sick, he needed to go to the hospital.

Monks bought the hamburger at Maine Meat in Kittery and fed it to her son. Five days later, he fell ill, suffering from vomitting, fever and diarrhea. He was hospitalized for several days, according to her attorneys.

The tainted beef led to sickness in 14 people between June 15 to July 10, 2016, according to the New Hampshire Department of Health and Human Services.

Monks’ son was one of those 14 people, attorneys said.

The E. coli recall was the first from a New Hampshire farm in well over a decade, although the state has been part of regional or national recalls during that period. Ground beef processed at the PT Farm slaughterhouse from three other farms – Miles Smith Farm of Loudon, Chestnut Farm of Lee and Robie Farm of Piermont – was also involved in the recall.

The PT Farm processing facility on Route 116 was opened as a USDA-licensed slaughterhouse in 2012, although the owners, Peter and Tara Roy, had been processing meat for years before in a smaller facility on their farm elsewhere.

Monks and her son are represented by attorney Peter Felmly, of Portland, Maine, and food safety advocate William Marler, based in Seattle.

“It is the responsibility of all food manufacturers to protect their customers against foodborne illness,” Marler said in a statement. “This means 365 days a year. All of the illnesses in this outbreak can be traced back to a single slaughter day. This almost perfect record was enough to cause suffering for many, including children. Being almost perfect simply isn’t good enough when it comes to food safety.”

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