The Burger That Shattered Her Life

By Brittany McCallum:

While searching for an interesting Pulitzer Prize story I came across this title that caught my attention. I immediately wanted know more about the burger. I recently became a vegetarian and have a new desire for learning about the production and distribution of meat products.

The New York Times’s Michael Moss won a Pulitzer Prize for his reporting on contaminated beef and food safety issues. The story focuses on Stephanie Smith, a children’s dance instructor. Smith thought she had a stomach virus, but her kidneys shut down.  Seizures knocked her unconscious. The convulsions grew so relentless that doctors had to put her in a coma for nine weeks. When she emerged, she could no longer walk. The affliction had ravaged her nervous system and left her paralyzed. Ms. Smith, 22, was found to have a severe form of food-borne illness caused by E. coli, which Minnesota officials traced to the hamburger that her mother had grilled for their Sunday dinner in early fall 2007. (New York Times)

Ben Garvin for The New York Times Stephanie Smith, 22, was paralyzed after being stricken by E. coli in 2007. Officials traced the E. coli to hamburger her family had eaten.


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