"At the time, we weren't sure what it was that made us sick," says Shepherd. "My sister had been sick during the week and thought it was a virus. We ate the burgers Sunday and on Monday night I got sick. I was throwing up and had diarrhea the next day. It only lasted about 24 hours but my brother-in-law who drove up from Texas was sick for three days--the duration of his vacation with us."
Ironically, Shepherd's brother-in-law has a PhD and does research for the army on food problems; he mentioned that they could have food poisoning. "No, my sister was sick earlier so it must be a virus going around," Shepherd told him.
"My brother-in-law, daughter, my mother and my cousin got sick," says Shepherd. "My son and husband went for the hotdogs—lucky them. In all, about 10 people were affected, mostly family.
"When I heard about the recall, I looked on the Topps box but the date didn't correspond with their recall dates. One week later, they had extended the 'sell-by' date and then I asked the people who were sick what they had eaten. Then I talked to my sister who had been sick before the party and she had eaten Topps burgers that week."
Denise had sleuthed the source: Topps beef burgers, without a doubt.
"Then I visited LawyersandSettlements and read about a class action lawsuit against Topps. It didn't surprise me. I feel horrible that my family came to a party and got sick. I feel responsible even though it wasn't my fault. This sure put a damper on the graduation. My son felt bad too.
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After we found out about the recall, my husband threw out the burgers but I kept the two boxes—16 burgers in each box. Nobody went to the doctor because we thought it was just a virus. Usually in adults, you can get better in a few days. I read that people with compromised immune systems and children could get really sick. And no young kids were sick because they ate other food. Thank God they didn't have a burger."