Victims of French E. coli O157 outbreak want to know why it happened; courts slow to respond
Posted: June 15th, 2012 - 12:14pm
Nine-year-old Ugo Picot was stricken with E. coli O157:H7 linked to frozen meatballs in tomato sauce in June 2011.
Ugo was one of eight children in Northern France confirmed with E. coli O157 after eating beef bought from German retailer, Lidl.
When his mother took him to the hospital because of persistent vomiting, she was told, “gastroenteritis is seven days, it is only five,” and was sent home.
As reported in today’s edition of La Voix du Nord, "One morning, Ugo is not well at all. I felt like my heart would stop beating. Back in the hospital and the beginning of the nightmare. Helicopter transfer to hospital of Lille, a tube in his stomach: dialysis, to flush the kidneys.”
Didier Picot and Virginia were told Ugo had developed hemolytic uremic syndrome (HUS); Virginia still trembles at the memory of a psychiatrist come "talk of death" to his son.
A year later, Ugo is a small boy of nine who tires more easily than others, and his kidneys will return to normal functioning.
In the corridors of the hospital in Lille, she met the parents of other small children, and that most had bought ground meat brand Country Steak at Lidl.
The parents have launched legal action, but progress is slow.
Albert Amgar writes on his blog that it is rare in France to hear the voice of those who have suffered from food poisoning.