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Food Poison Journal

Food Poisoning Outbreaks and Litigation: Surveillance and Analysis

Marler Clark Files Salmonella Lawsuit Against Don Antonio’s

161201-gavel_lawsuit_originalSalmonella Outbreak:

After dozens or more reports on Yelp of patrons contracting Salmonella poisoning at Don Antonio’s in Los Angeles, on March 25, 2015, environmental health staff at the County of Los Angeles Department of Public Health conducted an on-site inspection at Don Antonio’s. The inspection was conducted with the owner of Don Antonio’s, Esteban Castellanos.

During the inspection, multiple food safety violations were noted, including: (1) the unavailability of thermometers suitable for measuring temperature of food, and for monitoring the temperature of the water at the warewashing machine and sink; (2) inadequate ventilation and lighting; (3) improper use and storage of wiping cloths used to wipe service counters, scales, and other surfaces that food may come into contact with; (4) unapproved equipment and utensils; (5) potentially hazardous food stored at improper holding temperatures; and (6) improperly sanitized food contact surface issues.

At the conclusion of the inspection, each issue and risk factor contributing to foodborne illness were discussed. The restaurant manager was advised of the violations and instructed to correct all violations immediately. The inspection report was reviewed and signed by Esteban Castellanos and a copy of the report was left with him at the end of the inspection.

Salmonella Infections:

Salmonella is an enteric bacterium, which means that it lives in the intestinal tracts of humans and other animals. Salmonella bacteria are usually transmitted to humans by eating foods contaminated with human or animal feces. Contaminated foods usually look and smell normal. Contaminated foods are often of animal origin, such as beef, poultry, milk, or eggs, but all foods, including vegetables, may become contaminated. An infected food handler who neglects to wash his or her hands with soap and warm water after using the bathroom may also contaminate food.

Once in the lumen of the small intestine, the bacteria penetrate the epithelium, multiply, and enter the blood within 24 to 72 hours. As few as 15-20 cells of Salmonella bacteria can cause salmonellosis or a more serious typhoid-like fever. Variables such as the health and age of the host, and virulence differences among the serotypes, affect the nature and extent of the illness. Infants, elderly, hospitalized, and immune suppressed persons are the populations that are the most susceptible to disease, and suffer the most severe symptoms.

The acute symptoms of Salmonella gastroenteritis include the sudden onset of nausea, abdominal cramping, and bloody diarrhea and mucous over a period of days. There is no real cure for Salmonella infection, except treatment of the symptoms. Persons with severe diarrhea may require re-hydration, often with intravenous fluids.

Persons with diarrhea usually recover completely, although it may be several months before their bowel habits are entirely normal. A small number of persons who are infected with Salmonella will go on to develop pains in their joints, irritation of the eyes, and painful urination. This is called Reiter’s syndrome and/or reactive arthritis. It can last for months or years, and can lead to chronic arthritis, which is difficult to treat. Antibiotic treatment does not make a difference in whether or not the person later develops arthritis.

Salmonella Lawyers:

Marler Clark, The Food Safety Law Firm, is the nation’s leading law firm representing victims of Salmonella outbreaks. The Salmonella lawyers of Marler Clark have represented thousands of victims of Salmonella and other foodborne illness outbreaks 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 Salmonella lawyers have litigated Salmonella cases stemming from outbreaks traced to a variety of foods, such as cantaloupe, tomatoes, ground turkey, salami, sprouts, cereal, peanut butter, and food served in restaurants. The law firm has brought Salmonella lawsuits against such companies as Cargill, ConAgra, Peanut Corporation of America, Sheetz, Taco Bell, Subway and Wal-Mart.

Marler Clark to File Kenosha Salmonella Lawsuit Against Supermercado Los Corrales

161201-gavel_lawsuit_originalThe Kenosha County Division of Health continues to interview individuals with Salmonella I 4,[5],12:i:- gastrointestinal illness and exposure to Supermercado Los Corrales. As of this time, more than 60 ill persons have been identified.

To date, Salmonella I 4,[5],12:i:- with a matching DNA fingerprint has been found in five case patients. Additional stool samples are currently being tested and the number of confirmed cases is expected to increase as those results become available.

Based on the interviews that have been conducted, the source of the outbreak appears to be pork carnitas sold at Supermercado Los Corrales. Testing of food from Supermercado Los Corrales is currently in progress.

The meat and food preparation area of Supermercado Los Corrales is temporarily closed while the investigation is ongoing, but the remainder of the establishment is open.

Salmonella: Marler Clark, The Food Safety Law Firm, is the nation’s leading law firm representing victims of Salmonella outbreaks. The Salmonella lawyers of Marler Clark have represented thousands of victims of Salmonella and other foodborne illness outbreaks 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 Salmonella lawyers have litigated Salmonella cases stemming from outbreaks traced to a variety of foods, such as cantaloupe, tomatoes, ground turkey, salami, sprouts, cereal, peanut butter, and food served in restaurants. The law firm has brought Salmonella lawsuits against such companies as Cargill, ConAgra, Peanut Corporation of America, Sheetz, Taco Bell, Subway and Wal-Mart.

FDA Investigates Multistate Outbreak of Tune Sushi Salmonella Paratyphi B variant L(+) tartrate(+) Infections

mapWhat is the Problem and What is Being Done About It?

The FDA, CDC, and state and local officials are investigating a multistate outbreak of Salmonella Paratyphi B variant L(+) tartrate(+) infections possibly linked to sushi made from raw tuna.

According to the CDC, 53 people infected with the outbreak strain have been reported from 9 states: Arizona (10), California (31), Illinois (1), Mississippi (1), New Mexico (6), South Dakota (1), Virginia (1), Washington (1), and Wisconsin (1). Most of the ill people have been reported from states in the southwestern United States or reported travel to this area of the country. Among 46 persons with available information, 10 (22%) have been hospitalized, and no deaths have been reported. At this time, the investigation has not conclusively identified a food source, but most ill people interviewed reported eating sushi containing raw tuna in the week before becoming ill.  At this time, a common brand or supplier of raw tuna has not been identified.

While local and state health officials continue to interview patients, the FDA is increasing its monitoring of tuna. Additionally, FDA is conducting a traceback investigation.  The FDA is evaluating and analyzing records to determine whether there is a common source of tuna.  In this effort, the FDA works with its investigational partners to identify clusters of people made ill in separate geographic areas and works to trace the path of food eaten by those made ill back to a common source.  This is labor intensive and painstaking work, requiring the collection, review and analysis of hundreds and at times thousands of invoices and shipping documents.

If a specific food or source linked to the illnesses is identified, the FDA will work to remove it from the marketplace and alert consumers to avoid it.

What are the Symptoms of Salmonella?

Most people infected with Salmonella develop diarrhea, fever, and abdominal cramps. The illness usually lasts 4 to 7 days, and most people recover without treatment.

It is important to note that this outbreak is caused by Salmonella Paratyphi B variant L(+) tartrate(+) bacteria.  This type of bacteria does not cause typhoid fever, paratyphoid fever or enteric fever.

How Soon do Symptoms Appear After Exposure?

Most people infected with Salmonella develop diarrhea, fever, and abdominal cramps 12 to 72 hours after infection.

What are the Complications of Salmonella Infections?

In some people, the diarrhea may be so severe that they need to be hospitalized. In these patients, the Salmonella infection may spread from the intestines to the blood stream, and then to other body sites and can cause death unless the person is treated promptly with antibiotics.

Who is at Risk?

Children are the most likely to get salmonellosis. The rate of diagnosed infections in children less than five years old is higher than the rate in all other people. Children younger than 5 years of age, the elderly, and those people with weakened immune systems are more likely to have severe infections. It is estimated that approximately 400 persons in the United States die each year with acute salmonellosis. Children, older adults, pregnant women, and people with weakened immune systems should generally avoid eating raw fish of any kind.

What Do Restaurants and Retailers Need To Do?

At this time, a common brand or supplier of raw tuna has not been identified, and there are no specific steps for restaurants and retailers to take to protect their customers.

What Do Consumers Need To Do?

At this time, a common brand or supplier of raw tuna has not been identified, and there are no specific steps for consumers to take to protect themselves.

The FDA has provided information on selecting and serving fresh and frozen seafood safely.  Some people are at greater risk for foodborne illness, and should not eat raw or partially cooked fish or shellfish. These susceptible groups include:

  • Pregnant women
  • Young children
  • Older adults
  • Persons whose immune systems are compromised
  • Persons who have decreased stomach acidity

If you are unsure of your risk, ask your healthcare provider.

Consumers should always practice safe food handling and preparation measures.  Wash hands, utensils, and surfaces with hot, soapy water before and after handling food.  If more specific information becomes available FDA and CDC will share it with the public, along with any steps consumers can take to prevent illnesses.

Salmonella I 4,[5],12:i:- Linked to Kenosha Supermercado Los Corrales

734824_630x354The Kenosha County Division of Health continues to interview individuals with Salmonella I 4,[5],12:i:- gastrointestinal illness and exposure to Supermercado Los Corrales. As of this time, more than 60 ill persons have been identified.

To date, Salmonella I 4,[5],12:i:- with a matching DNA fingerprint has been found in five case patients. Additional stool samples are currently being tested and the number of confirmed cases is expected to increase as those results become available.

Based on the interviews that have been conducted, the source of the outbreak appears to be pork carnitas sold at Supermercado Los Corrales. Testing of food from Supermercado Los Corrales is currently in progress.

The meat and food preparation area of Supermercado Los Corrales is temporarily closed while the investigation is ongoing, but the remainder of the establishment is open.

Salmonella: Marler Clark, The Food Safety Law Firm, is the nation’s leading law firm representing victims of Salmonella outbreaks. The Salmonella lawyers of Marler Clark have represented thousands of victims of Salmonella and other foodborne illness outbreaks 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 Salmonella lawyers have litigated Salmonella cases stemming from outbreaks traced to a variety of foods, such as cantaloupe, tomatoes, ground turkey, salami, sprouts, cereal, peanut butter, and food served in restaurants. The law firm has brought Salmonella lawsuits against such companies as Cargill, ConAgra, Peanut Corporation of America, Sheetz, Taco Bell, Subway and Wal-Mart.