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How a tainted burger tore a family apart

News Section Icon Published 21/08/2012


Kevin Kowalcyk was just two years old when he died; killed by an E. coli infection that he contracted after eating a burger. Although his parents couldn't find conclusive evidence that it came from the burger that Kevin ate, a meat recall was issued shortly after his death.

Some studies have found higher rates of bacterial infections in factory-farmed animals. And the routine use of antibiotics in factory farms is fuelling antibiotic resistance, potentially making it harder to try and save the lives of people like Kevin1.

Kevin awoke one morning with diarrhea and a mild fever. Initially, we didn't think much of it but became alarmed when he developed bloody diarrhea ... Kevin was hospitalized the following day for dehydration and was quickly diagnosed with E. coli O157:H7. For the next eight days, our family helplessly watched our child suffer unbearable pain, endure continuous dialysis and become so weakened that he needed a ventilator to breathe. On Aug. 11, our beloved Kevin suffered three heart attacks and died. Weeks later, we learned that Kevin died of gangrene of the large and small intestine - a brutal death... Two years after his death - and after multiple threatened lawsuits - we finally learned that Kevin matched a meat recall issued 16 days after he died.

The Huffington Post, 20102

Why not find out more about the health threats of factory farming.

Our sources

  1. Alliance to Save our Antibiotics, 2011, Case Study of a Health Crisis
  2. The Huffington Post, 2010, HuffPost's Greatest Person Of The Day: Barbara Kowalcyk, Food Safety Advocate

Huge thanks to the Participant Media for the image.


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