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Poisoned: The True Story of the Deadly E. Coli Outbreak That Changed the Way Americans Eat Hardcover – May 16 2011

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Product Details

  • Hardcover: 336 pages
  • Publisher: Inspire Books (May 16 2011)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0983347808
  • ISBN-13: 978-0983347804
  • Product Dimensions: 22.9 x 16.1 x 2.7 cm
  • Shipping Weight: 544 g
  • Average Customer Review: Be the first to review this item
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: #1,729,598 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
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Product Description

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 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. You can read his popular blog at

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Most Helpful Customer Reviews on (beta) 4.5 out of 5 stars 37 reviews
5.0 out of 5 stars Came as ordered Aug. 15 2016
By Amazon Customer - Published on
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
Came as ordered by our Hygiene Officer (Hotel)
5.0 out of 5 stars Five Stars July 2 2016
By Amanda Anderson - Published on
Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
Great read.
14 of 14 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A Page-turner that Operates on Many Levels May 31 2011
By Danielle R. Smith - Published on
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.
10 of 11 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Reads like a novel, but based on a truth that changed the nation Dec 2 2011
By Chandler - Published on
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 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.

That may seem a small story to base a book upon but it's anything but.

In fact, I picked up this book thinking it was about food additives or pesticides or preservatives. I kept reading it even after I found that the subject wasn't that at all-- simply because it really is a STORY with loads of twists and turns that make it hard to put down. So I bought it.

It's a story of a financially floundering and unknown lawyer who wanted to do the right thing for a victim who was up against one huge character of a lawyer hired by a corporation giant.

As you may recall from the news, the case resulted in the largest financial damages claim ever awarded in the state's history for personal injury.

It is a book that puts the reader squarely in front of the victims who fell ill, and the families of those who passed away, as they were all interviewed along with the corporation representatives, the doctors...everyone involved so it doesn't feel like you are reading a news article but are there understanding each aspect, and even the emotions involved.

4 people died during this outbreak of the 750 horribly ill from poisoning. Parents looked at food differently as food poisoning was no longer something you "got over" in a day or two. This was suddenly a scary demon that could enter your house without warning set to kill in the worst way according to these details.

Did Jack in the Box know the state of Washington had enacted a law that was even higher than federal regulations for cooking meat a year before the deaths in Washington from this undercooked meat occured?

How did the poor management of slaughterhouses and meat distribution create a runaway train of E-coli?

And what of that ill-timed slogan Jack in The Box unfortunately claimed that year: "So Good It's Scary"?

This isn't about meat vs. vegetarian. This isn't about doing away with fast food. This is simply the story of something that has more twists than a spider web that lead to more best sellers and eye openers like Fast Food Nation and the organic movement and suddenly questioning authority and corporate giants of food manufacturing.

It was a scare that even brought about human-grade meat being used in some dog food brands.

Bill Marlar, the young lawyer, had his life changed by fighting for food safety in this novel. Now sporting a humble car with plates that read "ECOLI" he is a prime player in the book and takes us all on a ride that is actually surprisingly awakening yet interesting all the way through.

Overhear someone trying to order a rare burger anywhere like you could for decades prior at an easting establishment now and you'll realize one event can change a nation forever. But there are far more tidbits to the story than simply menu changes.

And that's what made it so interesting.
3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A great read June 20 2011
By Pat Rowley - Published on
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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