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Food Poison Journal

Food Poisoning Outbreaks and Litigation: Surveillance and Analysis

Marler Makes List of America’s 50 Most Powerful People in Food for 2015

I made the Daily Meal’s: America’s 50 Most Powerful People in Food for 2015. Honestly, having a lawyer as part of this list may not be a good thing.

#43 Bill Marler, Foodborne Illness Lawyer and Attorney

An accomplished personal injury and products liability attorney, Marler has been litigating foodborne illness cases since 1993, when he represented Brianne Kiner, the most seriously sickened survivor of the Jack in the Box E. coli outbreak, creating a Washington State record for an individual personal injury action ($15.6 million). More than a lawyer, Marler has become an advocate for a safer food supply, petitioning the USDA to better regulate pathogenic E. coli, working with nonprofit food safety and foodborne illness victims’ organizations, and helping spur the passage of the 2010-2011 FDA Food Safety Modernization Act. He also helps keep us in the loop with his blog, which he updates on a near-daily basis.

I’m up from 47th in 2014, And, wedged between some interesting people this year:

#50 Adam Rapoport, Editor in Chief, Bon Appétit

#49 Ingrid Newkirk, President and Co-Founder, People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals

#48 José Andrés, Chef-Restaurateur

#47 Julie Packard, Executive Director and Vice-Chairman, Monterey Bay Aquarium

#46 Steve Spinner, CEO, President, and Director, United Natural Foods, Inc.

#45 Alice Waters, Chef-Restaurateur and Founder and Director, The Edible Schoolyard Project

#44 David Murdock, CEO, Dole Food Company

#43 Bill Marler, Foodborne Illness Lawyer and Attorney

#42 Bill Shore, Founder and CEO, Share Our Strength#41 Jimmy Fallon, Host, The Tonight Show

#40 Paul Grimwood, CEO and Chairman, Nestlé USA

#39 Pete Wells, Restaurant Critic, The New York Times

#38 Michel Landel, CEO, Sodexo

#37 Craig Jelinek, CEO, Costco

#36 Mario Batali and Joe Bastianich, Chef/Restaurateurs

#35 Dan Bane, Chairman and CEO, Trader Joe’s

#34 Danny Meyer, Restaurateur

#33 Steve Ells, Founder/ Co-CEO, Chairman, Chipotle Mexican Grill

#32 Mehmet Oz, Doctor, Author, and TV Host

#31 Eric J. Foss, CEO, Aramark

#30 Fred DeLuca, Co-Founder and President, Subway

#29 Ben Silbermann, Founder and CEO, Pinterest

#28 Dawn Sweeney, President and CEO, National Restaurant Association

#27 Jim McGovern, Co-Chair, House Hunger Caucus

#26 David C. Novak, Executive Chairman, Yum! Brands

#25 Yancey Strickler, Founder & CEO, Kickstarter

#24 Paul Polman, CEO, Univeler

#23 Bob Tuschman, General Manager and Senior Vice President, Food Network

#22 Rodney McMullen, Chairman and CEO, The Kroger Co.

#21 Irene Rosenfeld, CEO, Mondelez International

#20 Patricia Woertz, Chairman, President, and CEO, Archer Daniels Midland

#19 Donnie Smith, President and CEO, Tyson Foods

#18 Steve Easterbrook, CEO, McDonalds

#17 Pamela Bailey, President and CEO, Grocery Manufacturers Association

#16 John T. Cahill, CEO, Kraft Foods

#15 David MacLennan, President and CEO, Cargill

#14 John Mackey, Founder and Co-CEO, Whole Foods Market

#13 Barack and Michelle Obama, President and First Lady

#12 Rachael Ray, Television personality

#11 William J. Delaney III, CEO, Sysco

#10 Jeremy Stoppelman, Co-Founder and CEO, Yelp

#9 Jack Menzel and Dan Entin, Google

#8 James P. Hoffa, General President, International Brotherhood of Teamsters

#7 Indra Nooyi, Chairman and CEO, PepsiCo

#6 Howard Schultz, CEO, Starbucks

#5 Michael R. Taylor, Deputy Commissioner for Food, Federal Drug Administration

#4 Susan Neely, President & CEO, American Beverage Association

#3 Hugh Grant, Chairman, President, and CEO, The Monsanto Company

#2 Jack Sinclair, Executive Vice President, Grocery Division, Walmart

#1 Thomas Vilsack, Secretary, USDA

Clostridium Perfringens Forces Recall of Salami

Great Lakes Smoked Meats, a Lorain, Ohio establishment, is recalling approximately 2,863 pounds of smoked salami product, which may have experienced temperature abuse and may contain Clostridium perfringens, the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s Food Safety and Inspection Service (FSIS) announced today.

The smoked salami was produced on Dec. 12, 2014 through Dec. 14, 2014. The following product are subject to recall:

Approximately 2.25-2.3 lb. vacuum-packed sticks of “SMOKEHOUSE DELI KARPATSKAYA SMOKED COOKED SALAMI”

The product subject to recall bears the establishment number “1029 SEOH” inside the Cooperative Interstate Shipment mark of inspection. This establishment is an Ohio state-inspected plant which participates in USDA’s Cooperative Interstate Shipment (CIS) program. Under CIS, state-inspected plants can operate as federally-inspected facilities, under specific conditions, and ship their product in interstate commerce and internationally. “Sell By” dates for the recalled product range from Mar. 16, 2015, to Mar. 19, 2015. The product was shipped to retail locations in California, New York, and Pennsylvania.

The problem was discovered by the establishment during an internal records review which showed the product had reached an unsafe temperature during the cooling process.

Clostridium perfringens is a type of bacteria that can be found in a variety of foods, particularly meats, meat products, and gravy. Emetic toxins produced by Clostridium perfringens bacteria are characterized by intense abdominal cramps and diarrhea which begin 8-22 hours after consumption of foods containing large numbers of those Clostridium perfringens bacteria capable of producing the toxin. The illness is usually over within 24 hours but less severe symptoms may persist in some individuals for 1 or 2 weeks.

17 Illnesses Prompt Staphylococcus Enterotoxin Protein Powder Recall

Project Healthy Living, Inc. of New York, New York (d/b/a Aloha, Inc.) is voluntarily recalling all packages of Premium Protein powder in chocolate and vanilla blends because it has the potential to be contaminated with Staphylococcus enterotoxin. The presence of Staphylococcus enterotoxins may be injurious to health and may result in staphylococcal food poisoning. Nausea, vomiting, retching, abdominal cramping, and prostration may occur. In more severe cases there may be headache, muscle cramping, and transient changes in blood pressure and pulse.

The Aloha Premium Protein products were distributed nationwide from November 2014 through January 2015 directly to consumers through online sales and in New York through a very limited number of retail stores. All sizes of Aloha’s Vanilla and Chocolate Premium Protein blends are being voluntarily recalled. This product is packaged and sold in both 14-serving sized steel tins and single-serving sized pouches. The single serving pouches may be in kits that contain other products not affected by the voluntary recall.

To date, Aloha has received 17 complaints from customers who have reported transient gastrointestinal symptoms consistent with staphylococcal food poisoning. This voluntary recall is a result of an extensive testing program, which Aloha began immediately following individual customer complaints of gastrointestinal issues. Aloha is working closely with its manufacturer, co-packers, ingredient suppliers and distribution partners to determine the source and cause of the contamination.

Aloha has temporarily ceased production and distribution of the Premium Protein products until further analytical testing can confirm the specific source of the contamination.

Trader Joe’s Needs to be Accountable for 2013 E. coli Outbreak

Trader Joe’s and Glass Onion Catering is facing 10 lawsuits brought on behalf of victims of a 2013 E. coli outbreak. Public health officials traced the E. coli outbreak to salads made by Glass Onion Catering and sold at the grocery chain.

According to attorney Bill Marler, whose law firm represents 11 plaintiffs that they fell ill with E. coli infections after eating salads sold at Trader Joe’s, the company was added as a defendant to two lawsuits previously filed against salad-maker Glass Onion Catering in California and in 3 new lawsuits filed Wednesday in California and Washington state. The plaintiffs allege in the lawsuits that Glass Onion Catering and Trader Joe’s sold food that was “not fit for human consumption, and not reasonably safe because it was contaminated with E. coli O157:H7”.

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, U.S. Food and Drug Administration and state and local health departments counted 33 people from 4 states who were confirmed ill with E. coli infections after consuming Glass Onion Catering salads and wraps sold at Trader Joe’s and other retail outlets in October and November of 2013. Two people, including one of the plaintiffs, developed hemolytic uremic syndrome, a complication of E. coli infection that can cause kidney failure and central nervous system impairment.

“Retailers need to be held accountable for what they sell,” said attorney Bill Marler. “In my opinion, over the last two decades retailers have begun to care less about the safety of what they sell just as long as it sells.  Retailers now try to push blame for the sale of tainted food that sickens customers onto everyone but the retailer. That needs to stop.”

Marler Clark, The Food Safety Law Firm, is the nation’s leading law firm representing victims of E. coli outbreaks and hemolytic uremic syndrome (HUS). The E. coli lawyers of Marler Clark have represented thousands of victims of E. coli and other foodborne illness infections and have recovered over $600 million for clients. Marler Clark is the only law firm in the nation with a practice focused exclusively on foodborne illness litigation.  Our E. coli lawyers have litigated E. coli and HUS cases stemming from outbreaks traced to ground beef, raw milk, lettuce, spinach, sprouts, and other food products.  The law firm has brought E. coli lawsuits against such companies as Jack in the Box, Dole, ConAgra, Cargill, and Jimmy John’s.  We have proudly represented such victims as Brianne Kiner, Stephanie Smith and Linda Rivera.