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Food Poison Journal Food Poisoning Outbreaks and Litigation: Surveillance and Analysis

Foodborne Illness Outbreaks

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Simi Valley Chipotle Outbreak was Likely Norovirus – www.iwaspoisoned.com

The Ventura County Public Health office has reported 98 customers and 17 employees at the Chipotle Mexican Grill in Simi Valley became sick on August 18 and 19.

An inspection notice posted August 27 on the county’s Environmental Health website identified uncovered hot food held below 135°F and violations observed on a previous inspection that had not been corrected. The previous inspection posted on August 24 cited the restaurant for:

  • Equipment connected directly to the sewer;
  • Deteriorating and damaged wall and/or ceiling surfaces;
  • Unclean restrooms;
  • Unsanitary conditions on the premises;
  • Equipment, utensils not clean, fully operative and in good repair;
  • Flying insects; and
  • Food handlers lacking a valid food handler card or records documenting that food handlers possess a valid food handler card.

Screen Shot 2015-08-29 at 10.10.08 AMOver at the food safety crowd sourcing website, www.iwaspoisoned.com, comes the likely cause of the outbreak – Norovirus. Here is a comment:

Hi, my daughter Amanda ate a steak bowl on Tuesday, August 18, Wednesday evening she came down with symptoms. Vomiting, diarrhea, migraine, dizziness, hallucinations. Vomiting lasted for 12 hours. Migraine and dizziness lasted about 18. She was definitely suffering. Lack of appetite, nausea and some minor neurological symptoms lasted for about four more days. I contacted the health department and they responded right away. They said they wish more people would have contacted them as they cannot reach out and contact people. They were in constant contact with me and ran stool samples and discovered it was positive for Norovirus. They were wonderful to work with and on top of it every step of the way. This was the worst case of food poisoning I’ve ever seen and I’m sorry for anyone who suffered through it. Norovirus is highly contagious and the health department was wondering if there was any secondary cases from other people who are we’re in close contact with the original person. Chipotle knew there was a problem but apparently waited until Saturday to call the health department. By then, all the food was gone. Shame on them! My daughter was sick for five days, missed three shifts at work and a class in LA. Her friend was also very sick for five days and missed her first day at college.

Norovirus: Marler Clark, The Food Safety Law Firm, is the nation’s leading law firm representing victims of Norovirus outbreaks. The Norovirus lawyers of Marler Clark have represented thousands of victims of Norovirus 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 Norovirus lawyers have litigated Norovirus cases stemming from outbreaks traced to carrot juice and chili.

If you or a family member became ill with Norovirus after consuming food and you’re interested in pursuing a legal claim, contact the Marler Clark Norovirus attorneys for a free case evaluation.

Chipotle: Dirty Restrooms and Utensils, Flying Insects, Untrained Employees – Goodness!

An inspection notice posted August 27 on the county’s Environmental Health website identified uncovered hot food held below 135°F and violations observed on a previous inspection that had not been corrected. The previous inspection posted on August 24 cited the restaurant for:

• Equipment connected directly to the sewer;

• Deteriorating and damaged wall and/or ceiling surfaces;

• Unclean restrooms;

• Unsanitary conditions on the premises;

• Equipment, utensils not clean, fully operative and in good repair;

• Flying insects; and

• Food handlers lacking a valid food handler card or records documenting that food handlers possess a valid food handler card.

The Ventura County Public Health office has reported 98 customers and 17 employees at the Chipotle Mexican Grill in Simi Valley became sick on August 18 and 19. The cause of the illnesses is under investigation.

17 Employees, 98 Customers with Food Poisoning at California Chipotle

ChipotleThe Ventura County Public Health office has reported 98 customers and 17 employees at the Chipotle Mexican Grill in Simi Valley became sick on August 18 and 19. The cause of the illnesses is under investigation.

An inspection notice posted August 27 on the county’s Environmental Health website identified uncovered hot food held below 135°F and violations observed on a previous inspection that had not been corrected. The previous inspection posted on August 24 cited the restaurant for:

• Equipment connected directly to the sewer;

• Deteriorating and damaged wall and/or ceiling surfaces;

• Unclean restrooms;

• Unsanitary conditions on the premises;

• Equipment, utensils not clean, fully operative and in good repair;

• Flying insects; and

• Food handlers lacking a valid food handler card or records documenting that food handlers possess a valid food handler card.

Marler Clark Files Multiple Lawsuits in Kapowsin Salmonella Outbreak

MCthefoodsafetylawfirmThe Kapowsin Meats Antibiotic Resistant Salmonella I 4, [5],12:i:- Outbreak

The Washington State Department of Health (DOH) and Public Health of Seattle & King County (SKC), with CDC and the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s Food Safety and Inspection Service (USDA-FSIS), are investigating an outbreak of Salmonella I 4,[5],12:i:- infections linked to pork.

Public health investigators are using the PulseNet system to identify illnesses that may be part of this outbreak. PulseNet, the national subtyping network of public health and food regulatory agency laboratories, is coordinated by CDC. DNA “fingerprinting” is performed on Salmonella bacteria isolated from ill people by using a technique called pulsed-field gel electrophoresis, or PFGE. PulseNet manages a national database of these DNA fingerprints to identify possible outbreaks. Five DNA fingerprints (outbreak strains) are included in this outbreak investigation. The five strains are rare in Washington.

A total of 152 ill people infected with the outbreak strains of Salmonella I 4,[5],12:i:- have been reported from Washington.

Defendant initially recalled approximately 116,262 pounds of whole hogs due to contamination by Salmonella I 4, [5],12:i:-, the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s Food Safety and Inspection Service (FSIS) announced.

Thereafter, as the health authorities continued to investigate the outbreak and identify more cases, FSIS continued its investigation at Defendant’s establishment. Among other things, FSIS conducted additional sampling, both product and environmental, at the establishment, and test results showed contamination of whole hogs for barbeque, associated pork products, and throughout the establishment.

FSIS ultimately deemed sanitary improvement efforts made by Defendant at its establishment insufficient, and Defendant voluntarily suspended operations.

On or about August 27, 2015, Defendant recalled approximately 523,380 pounds of pork products.

Salmonella

The term Salmonella refers to a group or family of bacteria that variously cause illness in humans. The taxonomy and nomenclature of Salmonella have changed over the years and are still evolving. Currently, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) recognizes two species which are divided into seven subspecies. These subspecies are divided into over 50 serogroups based on somatic (O) antigens present. The most common Salmonella serogroups are A, B, C, D, E, F, and G. Serogroups are further divided into over 2,500 serotypes. Salmonella serotypes are typically identified through a series of tests of antigenic formulas listed in a document called the Kauffmann-White Scheme published by the World Health Organization Collaborating Centre for Reference and Research on Salmonella.

Salmonella is an enteric bacterium, which means that it lives in the intestinal tracts of humans and other animals, including birds. Salmonella bacteria are usually transmitted to humans by eating foods contaminated with animal feces or foods that have been handled by infected food service workers who have practiced poor personal hygiene. 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. Many raw foods of animal origin are frequently contaminated, but thorough cooking kills Salmonella.

Medical Complications of Salmonellosis

The term reactive arthritis refers to an inflammation of one or more joints, following an infection localized at another site distant from the affected joints. The predominant site of the infection is the gastrointestinal tract. Several bacteria, including Salmonella, induce septic arthritis. The resulting joint pain and inflammation can resolve completely over time or permanent joint damage can occur.

The reactive arthritis associated with Reiter’s may develop after a person eats food that has been tainted with bacteria. In a small number of persons, the joint inflammation is accompanied by conjunctivitis (inflammation of the eyes), and uveitis (painful urination). Id. This triad of symptoms is called Reiter’s Syndrome. Reiter’s syndrome, a form of reactive arthritis, is an uncommon but debilitating syndrome caused by gastrointestinal or genitourinary infections. The most common gastrointestinal bacteria involved are Salmonella, Campylobacter, Yersinia, and Shigella. Reiter’s syndrome is characterized by a triad of arthritis, conjunctivitis, and urethritis, although not all three symptoms occur in all affected individuals.

Salmonella is also a cause of a condition called post infectious irritable bowel syndrome (IBS), which is a chronic disorder characterized by alternating bouts of constipation and diarrhea, both of which are generally accompanied by abdominal cramping and pain. In one recent study, over one-third of IBS sufferers had had IBS for more than ten years, with their symptoms remaining fairly constant over time. IBS sufferers typically experienced symptoms for an average of 8.1 days per month.

The Plaintiffs’ Illnesses

Plaintiff Rose Porter purchased a whole hog for barbeque at a retail store in Thurston County on or about June 27, 2015. The hog had been manufactured, distributed, and sold to the retail store by defendant Kapowsin Meats. All plaintiffs, and several other individuals, consumed the pork at a party on June 28, 2015.

Mikayla Porter fell ill the following day. She was seen in a hospital emergency room on or about June 30, 2015 at approximately 4 AM for severe gastrointestinal symptoms. She was hospitalized on July 4, 2015 for her severe illness, and remained in the hospital for 5 days, until her discharge on July 9, 2015. During her hospitalization, Mikayla submitted a stool sample that tested positive for Salmonella I 4, [5],12:i:-, matching the outbreak strain by PFGE testing.

James Swatscheno fell ill on or about June 30, 2015. He was seen for his severe symptoms in a hospital emergency room on or about July 4, 2015. James’s symptoms have never completely resolved. He continues to suffer from gastrointestinal difficulties as a result of his infection by Salmonella I 4, [5],12:i:-.

Rose Porter fell ill on or about June 29, 2015. She was seen in a hospital emergency room on or about July 4, 2015. She was ultimately treated for her Salmonella I 4, [5],12:i:- infection with antibiotics, and also has not completely regained normal gastrointestinal function.

Roger Porter fell ill on or about July 2, 2015. He too was ultimately treated with antibiotics for his Salmonella I 4, [5],12:i:- infection, but did not have any medical visits. He continues to suffer from gastrointestinal difficulties.

Marler Clark

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.

CDC: 152 Washington Consumers Sick with Antibiotic Resistant Salmonella I 4,[5],12:i:-

epi-curve-08-28-2015The Washington State Department of Health and Public Health—Seattle & King County, with CDC and the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s Food Safety and Inspection Service (USDA-FSIS), continue to investigate an outbreak of Salmonella I 4,[5],12:i:- infections linked to pork products in Washington.

As of August 27, 2015, 152 people infected with the outbreak strains of Salmonella I 4,[5],12:i:- have been reported from Washington.

24 ill people have been hospitalized. No deaths have been reported.

Epidemiologic, laboratory, and traceback findings have identified pork produced by Kapowsin Meats as a likely source of this outbreak of Salmonella I 4,[5],12:i:- infections. This investigation is ongoing.

On August 27, 2015, Kapowsin Meats issued an expanded recall of approximately 523,380 pounds of pork products that may be contaminated with Salmonella I 4,[5],12:i:-.

Recalled pork products include whole pigs for barbeque and fabricated pork products including various pork offal products, pork blood, and pork trim.

Pork products were produced on various dates between April 18, 2015 and August 26, 2015.

Products subject to recall bear the establishment number “Est. 1628” inside the USDA mark of inspection.

This recall expands the August 13, 2015 Kapowsin Meats recall of approximately 116,262 pounds of whole pigs.

Consumers should check their homes and freezers for the recalled pork products and should not cook or eat them. Retailers should not sell these products and restaurants should not serve them.

CDC’s National Antimicrobial Resistance Monitoring System (NARMS) laboratory conducted antibiotic resistance testing on clinical isolates collected from 10 ill people infected with one of the outbreak strains.

All 10 isolates (100%) were multidrug resistant. This included resistance to ampicillin, streptomycin, sulfisoxazole, and tetracycline.

Antibiotic resistance may be associated with increased risk of hospitalization, development of a bloodstream infection, or treatment failure in patients.

CDC’s NARMS laboratory continues to conduct antibiotic resistance testing on additional isolates, and results will be reported when they are available.

After 152 with Salmonella Kapowsin Meats Suspends Operation

150813_graham_meats_lgMarler Clark represents over a dozen sickened customers.  Pork shipped to retail outlets in Alaska, Oregon and Washington.

Kapowsin Meats, a Graham, Wash. establishment, is recalling approximately 523,380 pounds of pork products that may be contaminated with Salmonella I 4,[5],12:i:-, the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s Food Safety and Inspection Service (FSIS) announced today.

FSIS has been conducting intensified sampling at Kapowsin Meats while this establishment took steps to address sanitary conditions at their facility after the original recall on August 13, 2015. Sampling revealed positive results for Salmonella I 4,[5],12:i:- on Whole Hogs for Barbeque, associated pork products and throughout the establishment. FSIS has deemed sanitary improvement efforts made by the Kapowsin Meats insufficient, and the scope of this recall has been expanded to include all products associated with contaminated source material. The establishment has voluntarily suspended operations.

The whole hogs and associated items were produced on various dates between April 18, 2015 and August 26, 2015. The following products are subject to recall: [View Labels (PDF Only)]

  • Varying weights of boxed/bagged Whole Hogs for Barbeque
  • Varying weights of boxed/bagged fabricated pork products including various pork offal products, pork blood and pork trim.

The product subject to recall bears the establishment number “Est. 1628” inside the USDA mark of inspection. The product was shipped to various individuals, retail locations, institutions, and distributors in Alaska, Oregon and Washington.

On July 15, 2015, the Washington State Department of Health notified FSIS of an investigation of Salmonella I 4,[5],12:i:- illnesses. Working in conjunction with the Washington State Department of Health and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), FSIS determined that there is a link between whole hogs for barbeque and pork products from Kapowsin Meats and these illnesses. Traceback investigation has identified 36 case-patients who consumed whole hogs for barbeque or pork products from this establishment prior to illness onset. These illnesses are part of a larger illness investigation. Based on epidemiological evidence, 152 case-patients have been identified in Washington with illness onset dates ranging from April 25, 2015 to August 12, 2015. FSIS continues to work with our public health partners on this ongoing investigation.

Consumption of food contaminated with Salmonella can cause salmonellosis, one of the most common bacterial foodborne illnesses. The most common symptoms of salmonellosis are diarrhea, abdominal cramps, and fever within 12 to 72 hours after eating the contaminated product. The illness usually lasts 4 to 7 days. Most people recover without treatment. In some persons, however, the diarrhea may be so severe that the patient needs to be hospitalized. Older adults, infants, and persons with weakened immune systems are more likely to develop a severe illness. Individuals concerned about an illness should contact their health care provider.

FSIS and the company are concerned that some product may be frozen and in consumers’ freezers. Consumers who have purchased these products are urged not to consume them, and should throw them away or return the products to the place of purchase.

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.

If you or a family member became ill with a Salmonella infection, including Reactive Arthritis or Irritable bowel syndrome (IBS), after consuming food and you’re interested in pursuing a legal claim, contact the Marler Clark Salmonella attorneys for a free case evaluation.

152 with Salmonella and 523,380 Lbs of Pork Recalled in Washington

Screen Shot 2015-08-27 at 6.46.51 PMKapowsin Meats, a Graham, Wash. establishment, is recalling approximately 523,380 pounds of pork products that may be contaminated with Salmonella I 4,[5],12:i:-, the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s Food Safety and Inspection Service (FSIS) announced today.

FSIS has been conducting intensified sampling at Kapowsin Meats while this establishment took steps to address sanitary conditions at their facility after the original recall on August 13, 2015. Sampling revealed positive results for Salmonella I 4,[5],12:i:- on Whole Hogs for Barbeque, associated pork products and throughout the establishment. FSIS has deemed sanitary improvement efforts made by the Kapowsin Meats insufficient, and the scope of this recall has been expanded to include all products associated with contaminated source material. The establishment has voluntarily suspended operations.

The whole hogs and associated items were produced on various dates between April 18, 2015 and August 26, 2015. The following products are subject to recall:

  • Varying weights of boxed/bagged Whole Hogs for Barbeque
  • Varying weights of boxed/bagged fabricated pork products including various pork offal products, pork blood and pork trim.

The product subject to recall bears the establishment number “Est. 1628” inside the USDA mark of inspection. The product was shipped to various individuals, retail locations, institutions, and distributors in Alaska, Oregon and Washington.

On July 15, 2015, the Washington State Department of Health notified FSIS of an investigation of Salmonella I 4,[5],12:i:- illnesses. Working in conjunction with the Washington State Department of Health and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), FSIS determined that there is a link between whole hogs for barbeque and pork products from Kapowsin Meats and these illnesses. Traceback investigation has identified 36 case-patients who consumed whole hogs for barbeque or pork products from this establishment prior to illness onset. These illnesses are part of a larger illness investigation. Based on epidemiological evidence, 152 case-patients have been identified in Washington with illness onset dates ranging from April 25, 2015 to August 12, 2015. FSIS continues to work with our public health partners on this ongoing investigation.

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.

If you or a family member became ill with a Salmonella infection, including Reactive Arthritis or Irritable bowel syndrome (IBS), after consuming food and you’re interested in pursuing a legal claim, contact the Marler Clark Salmonella attorneys for a free case evaluation.

Canada Cyclospora illnesses are up to 92

The Public Health Agency of Canada is collaborating with provincial public health partners, the Canadian Food Inspection Agency, and Health Canada to investigate 92 Canadian cases of Cyclospora infections in Ontario, British Columbia, Alberta, and Quebec. The source of this outbreak is not yet known, and the Agency and its partners continue to investigate.

The risk to Canadians is low, but people with weakened immune systems, young children and older adults are at increased risk for developing complications if they get sick. In Canada and the US, past foodborne outbreaks of Cyclospora have been linked to various types of imported fresh produce.

Cyclospora is a microscopic single-celled parasite that is passed in people’s feces. If it comes in contact with food or water, it can infect the people who consume it. This causes an intestinal illness called cyclosporiasis.

Cyclospora is most common in certain tropical and subtropical countries and regions.

In Canada, non-travel related illnesses due to Cyclospora occur more frequently in the spring and summer months. lllnesses among travellers can happen at any time of year.

In Canada, a total of 92 cases have been reported in British Columbia (4), Alberta (1), Ontario (82), and Quebec (5). Two cases have been hospitalized, and are recovered or recovering. No deaths have been reported. Individuals became sick between May 3 and August 5, 2015. To date, no source has been identified. The investigation is ongoing.

Previous foodborne illness outbreaks of Cyclospora, in Canada and US have been linked to various types of imported fresh produce, such as pre-packaged salad mix, basil, cilantro, berries, mesclun lettuce and snow peas.

To date, no multi-jurisdictional outbreaks have been linked to produce grown in Canada.

California Chipotle Link to 115 Sick

http://www.dreamstime.com/royalty-free-stock-photography-chipotle-restaurant-chelsea-new-york-mexican-grill-chain-more-than-restaurants-around-world-image39039407Food Safety News reports that 115 people were reported sick after eating at a Chipotle restaurant in Simi Valley, CA last week.

Ventura County Public Health told Food Safety News that 98 customers and 17 employees were sickened on Aug. 18 and 19.

A number of people went to the ER, but it’s unknown if anyone was hospitalized.

After customers reported the illnesses to Chipotle, the “fast casual” restaurant notified health department officials and closed on Friday afternoon to clean and bring in new food before reopening on Saturday for lunch.

It’s unclear what made the customers ill, but the health department is collecting samples to test.

Public health officer Dr. Robert Levin, said the agency is “optimistic that we will find the culprit.”

An inspection of the Chipotle location posted Monday referenced violations for:

  • The premises and/or floors, walls, or ceiling are in an unsanitary condition.
  • Equipment or utensils are not clean, fully operative and in good repair.
  • Flying insects were observed within the food facility.
  • Food handlers employed at this facility do not possess a valid food handler card and/or records documenting that food employees possess a valid food handler card are not maintained by the food facility for review as required.
  • Equipment is connected directly to the sewer.
  • Wall and/or ceiling surfaces are deteriorated and/or damaged.
  • The restroom is unclean and in disrepair.

Marler Clark Retained in Wonton Sprout Salmonella Enteritidis Outbreak

map-graphic-fullA total of 115 persons infected with the outbreak strains of Salmonella were reported from 12 states.

CDC collaborated with public health officials in several states and the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) to investigate a multistate outbreak of Salmonella Enteritidis infections. Results from this investigation indicated that bean sprouts produced by Wonton Foods, Inc. were the likely source of this outbreak.

Public health investigators used the PulseNet system to identify illnesses that were part of this outbreak. PulseNet is the national subtyping network of public health and food regulatory agency laboratories coordinated by CDC. DNA “fingerprinting” is performed on Salmonella bacteria isolated from ill persons using a technique called pulsed-field gel electrophoresis, or PFGE. PulseNet manages a national database of these DNA fingerprints to identify possible outbreaks. Two PFGE patterns were included this investigation. Both PFGE patterns are rarely reported to the PulseNet database. On average, fewer than 10 types of Salmonella bacteria with these PFGE patterns are reported to PulseNet each year. Whole genome sequencing, a highly discriminatory subtyping method, was also performed on 16 of the clinical isolates, and all 16 were determined to be highly related to one another.

A total of 115 persons infected with the outbreak strains were reported from 12 states. The number of ill people identified in each state was as follows: Connecticut (8), Maine (4), Maryland (6), Massachusetts (36), Montana (1), New Hampshire (6), New York (22), Ohio (3), Pennsylvania (18), Rhode Island (7), Vermont (3), and Virginia (1). The one ill person from Montana traveled to the Eastern United States during the period when likely exposure occurred.

Illness onset dates ranged from September 30, 2014, to December 15, 2014. Ill persons ranged in age from younger than 1 year to 83 years, with a median age of 32 years. Sixty-four percent of ill persons were female. Among 75 persons with available information, 19 (25%) were hospitalized, and no deaths were reported.

In this investigation, state and local officials identified five clusters of illnesses in three states: Massachusetts, Rhode Island, and Vermont. Among the ill persons who were part of these illness clusters, all reported consuming menu items that contained bean sprouts. Investigating clusters of illnesses can provide critical clues about the source of an outbreak. A cluster of illnesses is defined as more than one unrelated ill person (i.e., they do not know or live with each other) who report eating at the same restaurant location, attending a common event, or shopping at the same location of a grocery store before becoming ill. If several unrelated ill persons ate or shopped at the same location of a restaurant or store within several days of each other, it suggests that the contaminated food item was served or sold there. In addition, traceback of suspected food items to identify a common point of contamination may be facilitated by records kept at these locations.

State and local public health officials, along with FDA, performed traceback investigations on the source of bean sprouts for all five illness clusters as well as for several individual ill persons. Traceback from all of the establishments indicated that all received bean sprouts from Wonton Foods, Inc. of Brooklyn, New York. Although some restaurants also received bean sprouts from other suppliers, Wonton Foods, Inc. was the only supplier common to all of the restaurants and was the sole supplier of bean sprouts to at least two of the restaurants.

On November 21, 2014, Wonton Foods, Inc. agreed to destroy any remaining products while they conducted thorough cleaning and sanitization and implemented other Salmonella control measures. On November 24, the firm completed cleaning and sanitization and restarted production of bean sprouts. The firm resumed shipment of bean sprouts on November 29, 2014. Contaminated bean sprouts produced by Wonton Foods, Inc. are likely no longer available for purchase or consumption given the maximum 12-day shelf life of mung bean sprouts.

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.

If you or a family member became ill with a Salmonella infection, including Reactive Arthritis or Irritable bowel syndrome (IBS), after consuming food and you’re interested in pursuing a legal claim, contact the Marler Clark Salmonella attorneys for a free case evaluation.