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Poisoned: The True Story of the Deadly E. Coli Outbreak That Changed the Way Americans Eat 49016th Edition

4.5 out of 5 stars 36 customer reviews
ISBN-13: 978-0983347804
ISBN-10: 0983347808
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Editorial Reviews

Review

"A fast-paced narrative and a cautionary tale about how public health policy, corporate practices and public relations, and lawyers' chutzpah and frenzy for fees can converge in a place we all know well."
--Associated Press

"A new, thriller-style account of the horrors of that E. coli outbreak and the subsequent events, including the groundbreaking rulings making O157:H7 an "adulterant".
--Mark Bittman, The New York Times

"Spartan prose delivers a chilling, page-turning lesson in food safety." --Kirkus Reviews

"Movie-like ...Benedict does a dramatic public service by showing us what happened behind the scenes."
--Christian Science Monitor

"Part thriller, part investigative expose, and all human, "Poisoned" lays out in rich, untold detail the tragic yet ultimately inspiring story behind the largest deadly E. coli outbreak in history."
--Armen Keteyian, CBS News

About the Author

Jeff Benedict is an award-winning writer and is considered one of America s top investigative journalists. He has published nine critically acclaimed books, including Little Pink House, Without Reservation, Pros and Cons, Out of Bounds, and The Mormon Way of Doing Business. He is a columnist and feature writer for SI.com and a contributor to Sports Illustrated. His essays and articles have also appeared in the New York Times, Newsweek, the Los Angeles Times, and the Hartford Courant. His stories have been the basis of a documentary on the Discovery Channel, as well as segments on 60 Minutes, 20/20, Dateline, and HBO s Real Sports. He is a frequent guest on network news programs and cable television talk shows, as well as a popular public speaker. He is a Distinguished Professor of English at Southern Virginia University, where he teaches Writing and Mass Media, a course he designed.
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Product Details

  • Hardcover: 336 pages
  • Publisher: Inspire Books; 49016th edition (May 16, 2011)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0983347808
  • ISBN-13: 978-0983347804
  • Product Dimensions: 9 x 6.3 x 1.1 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1.2 pounds
  • Average Customer Review: 4.5 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (36 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #142,974 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

By Danielle R. Smith on May 31, 2011
Format: Hardcover
I have read most of the books written by Jeff Benedict. I have found them all to be engaging. I confess, however, that Poisoned was the best yet. As a lawyer, law professor, former law school dean, and college president, I would recommend this book to any person considering law school and to all who care about issues related to our consumption of mass produced food products. I will never see a hamburger in quite the same way after having read this wonderful book. It is a captivating story, told ever so well and with balance, about a case that had an enormous impact on life and law.
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Format: Hardcover
A short stroll down any grocery store will show you how our nation has changed its thinking of food in the last decade.

Where only price tags used to be shown on shelves or products, now you see labels such as "organic", "vegetarian", "gluten-free", "vegan", "lactose-free" etc.

But few look back as to the catalysts that changed the way we think about how what we eat can affect us long-term.

This book is about one of those catalysts.

Although it reads like a story of a court case and victims and all the things you might get in some fiction best-seller, it's actually fact and based upon an amazing amount of research by the author as he put himself right into the scene and in personal contact with all those who were part of the events in 1993 stemming from poor food practices by Jack In The Box that led some pretty dramatic events.

In 1992 Jack In The Box was one of the top fast food chains. Parents didn't think of fast food quite the same as they do today...food additives and preservatives were also not on the forefront of discussion in supermarkets and there was an astonishing lower amount of vegans and vegetarians and all-natural groceries when compared with today's numbers although the movement was on the rise. (This book isn't about vegetarians or meat since you can get E Coli from veggies as well. But what happened did create a sharp rise in the movement and help it gain momentum.)

In 1992 a Seattle child bit into a meal that changed her family's life forever from a Jack In The Box bag. 750 other people were determiined poisoned shortly thereafter from the same cause. 4 died.

A deadly strain of E Coli bacteria that spread through undercooked meat.
Read more ›
6 Comments 9 people found this helpful. Was this review helpful to you? Yes No Sending feedback...
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Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
Poisoned is the story of the Jack In The Box E coli outbreak and the major players in that story. It is well written and holds your interest through the tragedies and triumphs that came out of this event. It follows how the corporation changed how they handled food, how the attorney who protected the rights of the victims became an advocate for food safety, and how this event changed how the public is protected against food poisoning. It includes the important information about the disease and the law, yet does an excellent job of making that information easy to understand by a layperson. If you know more about the science and law, it is written in a way that does not bore you. All in all, a book that can inform people about how our food supply works, and sometimes does not work, and the importance of food safety.
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Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
I haven't read a book in 24 hours in a long time - but I couldn't put this one down. I teach middle school home ec (FACS) and plan on using the information in this book to bring home the dangers of not knowing where your food comes from, the need to cook your food properly and what you can do to promote positive change in the law by learning about and using the law appropriately. The book is an inspiration!
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Format: Hardcover
I generally don't read a lot of non-fiction but the subject matter was something I was pretty familiar with due to my laboratory background. The story held my interest from the first page. The fact that it was a true story and I was living in San Diego when the first case was identified was also a factor in reading the book. Jeff put a great amount of time and research into this book and it shows. Everyone should read it and learn to be more aware of where their food is coming from and how it is being processed.I know I will!!
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I bought this book as a required text for a class I took from the author. The book itself is respectable, particularly for the detailed research that went in to writing it, and it was mildly engaging (though I probably would have stopped reading it if I didn't have to take a test on it), but it's not something I'll ever pick up and read again.

My real problem with the book is that the premise is a bit misleading. The book bills itself as "The True Story of the Deadly E. Coli Outbreak that Changed the Way Americans Eat," but the real story, per the author's own words, is about the lawyer. Actually, all of Jeff Benedict's books are like that — they're about individual people more than the event. You're led to believe that the book is about the victims, but its really the story of two people we don't meet until a third of the way through the book — Bill Marler, an unheard-of lawyer with an unorthodox approach to litigation (buzzword!), who used the deadly e. coli outbreak to force fast food companies to think long and hard about food safety, and a consultant working for Jack-in-the-Box who rewrote the health and inspection standards that govern the national beef supply industry.
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