Vancouver On the Border Restaurant Linked to Salmonella

Screen Shot 2012-10-09 at 10.21.34 PM.pngClark County Public Health is investigating several Salmonella cases among employees and patrons of On the Border restaurant, located at 1505 SE 164th Ave. Anyone who ate at the restaurant between Sept. 20 and Oct. 8 and is experiencing symptoms of salmonella should contact a health care provider.

Salmonella symptoms can include severe diarrhea, bloody diarrhea, fever, chills, abdominal discomfort and occasionally vomiting. The symptoms generally appear one to three days after exposure. Most people recover on their own without medication.

“We closed the restaurant this morning as a further precaution to reduce the risk of Salmonella spreading to others,” said Dr. Alan Melnick, Clark County Health Officer. “Our staff is interviewing employees and patrons to learn more about the possible source of the outbreak, such as a contaminated food source. We’re also working with restaurant staff to make sure standard control measures are in place, such as sanitary surfaces and equipment, frequent hand-washing and proper food handling and storage. Restaurant staff has been very cooperative.”

To date, there have been eleven confirmed cases and five probable cases associated with this outbreak. Although the risk of infection to the general public is low, Salmonella could spread if infected people don’t wash their hands properly after using the bathroom. People with salmonella should also stay home until their symptoms have disappeared.

Salmonella is a common bacterial infection. People are most often infected by eating or drinking contaminated food or water or by contact with infected people or animals. Salmonella is typically a food-borne illness acquired from contaminated raw poultry, eggs, and unpasteurized milk and cheese products. It can get on food or other objects and then into someone else’s mouth which can result in infection.

UPDATE: New England Compounding Center Steroids Cause Meningitis Outbreak

All of the patients were injected with methylprednisolone acetate, a steroid drug that investigators suspect was contaminated with a fungus usually found in leaf mold.  The drug was manufactured by a specialty pharmacy, New England Compounding Center of Framingham, Mass., which last week voluntarily recalled three lots of the steroid:

  • Methylprednisolone Acetate (PF) 80 mg/ml Injection, Lot #06292012@26, BUD 12/26/2012
  • Methylprednisolone Acetate (PF) 80 mg/ml Injection, Lot #08102012@51, BUD 2/6/2013
  • Methylprednisolone Acetate (PF) 80 mg/ml Injection, Lot #05212012@68, BUD 11/17/2012

Infected patients have developed a variety of symptoms approximately one to four weeks following their injection. Symptoms include fever, new or worsening headache and nausea.  Some of these patients' symptoms were very mild in nature. Cerebrospinal fluid from these patients has shown findings consistent with meningitis.   Illnesses and deaths thus far:

Total case count: 91

Florida: 4 cases

Indiana: 8 cases

Maryland: 3 cases, including 1 death

Michigan: 20 cases, including 2 deaths

Minnesota: 3 case

North Carolina: 2 cases

Ohio: 1 case

Tennessee: 32 cases, including 3 deaths

Virginia: 18 cases, including 1 death

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The suspected steroid was shipped to 23 states:

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California, Connecticut, Florida, Georgia, Idaho, Illinois, Indiana, Maryland, Michigan, Minnesota, North Carolina, New Hampshire, New Jersey, Nevada, New York, Ohio, Pennsylvania, Rhode Island, South Carolina, Tennessee, Virginia, Texas, and West Virginia.

Salmonella Peanut Butter Numbers Up, Cantaloupe Down

The CDC announced today an increase of 5 persons infected with the outbreak strain of Salmonella Bredeney have been reported from 19 states. The total number is now 35. Eight ill persons have been hospitalized, and no deaths have been reported. 63% percent of ill persons are children under the age of 10 years. A total of 35 persons infected with the outbreak strain of Salmonella Bredeney have been reported from 19 states. The number of ill persons identified in each state is as follows: Arizona (1), California (5), Connecticut (3), Illinois (1), Louisiana (1), Massachusetts (3), Maryland (1), Michigan (1), Minnesota (1), Missouri (2), Nevada (1), New Jersey (2), New York (1), North Carolina (1), Pennsylvania (2), Rhode Island (1), Texas (5), Virginia (1), and Washington (2).

Collaborative investigation efforts of state, local, and federal public health and regulatory agencies indicate that Trader Joe's Valencia Creamy Salted Peanut Butter made with Sea Salt, manufactured by Sunland, Inc. of Portales, New Mexico, is a likely source of this outbreak. Testing conducted by the Washington State Department of Agriculture laboratory isolated the outbreak strain from an opened jar of Trader Joe’s Valencia Creamy Peanut Butter collected from a case-patient’s home.

The CDC also announced a revision down by 9 to a total of 261 persons infected with the outbreak strains of Salmonella Typhimurium (228 persons) and Salmonella Newport (33 persons) reported from 24 states. A total of 261 individuals infected with the outbreak strain of Salmonella Typhimurium and Salmonella Newport were reported from 24 states: Alabama (25), Arkansas (6), Florida (1), Georgia (13), Illinois (36), Indiana (30), Iowa (9), Kentucky (66), Maryland (1), Michigan (8), Minnesota (2), Mississippi (7), Missouri (17), Montana (1), New Jersey (2), North Carolina (5), Ohio (5), Oklahoma (1), Pennsylvania (2), South Carolina (4), Tennessee (8), Texas (2), Virginia (1), and Wisconsin (9). 94 ill persons were hospitalized. Three deaths were reported in Kentucky.

Collaborative investigation efforts of state, local, and federal public health and regulatory agencies indicated that cantaloupe originating from Chamberlain Farms Produce, Inc. of Owensville, Indiana, was the source of this outbreak

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.  We have filed lawsuits in both of these outbreaks.

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.

Massachusetts Family Files Salmonella Lawsuit against Sunland & Trader Joe's

A lawsuit was filed today against Sunland, Inc. and Trader Joe’s, the manufacturer and retailer who sold Salmonella-contaminated peanut butter products that state and federal public health officials identified as the source of a multi-state Salmonella Bredeney outbreak in September.  The lawsuit was filed in Worcester County Superior Court by Marler Clark, the nation’s leading law firm representing victims of foodborne illness, on behalf of Worcester County, Massachusetts resident Brandi Henson and her 4-year-old son.  

The complaint alleges that Ms. Henson purchased Valencia peanut butter on multiple occasions between May and July.  Her child, who regularly ate peanut butter on sandwiches and other items, became ill with nausea, cramps, and diarrhea—all symptoms of Salmonella infection—on July 31, 2012.  According to the complaint, he required 2 visits to the pediatrician.  A stool sample submitted during one of the visits later tested positive for Salmonella Bredeney, the strain of Salmonella public health officials have shown is associated with the consumption of peanut butter made by Sunland, including Trader Joe’s Valencia peanut butter. 

“My client was feeding her family what she believed was a safe product,” said Bill Marler, attorney for the Henson family.  “It’s a shame that a staple of nearly every American kid’s diet is once again causing illness.  More needs to be done to protect our children from Salmonella.”

Marler noted that the FDA Food Safety Modernization Act, signed by President Obama nearly a year ago, has languished in the Office of Management and Budget for months, while peanut butter, cantaloupe, mangoes, cheese and other FDA-regulated products have caused hundreds of documented illnesses.  “It’s not just food companies that need to act in the name of food safety.  Our government needs to do more, too.”

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.

Marler Clark Files Salmonella and Listeria Lawsuits

A lawsuit will be filed Thursday against Sunland, Inc. and Trader Joe’s, the manufacturer and retailer who sold Salmonella-contaminated peanut butter products that state and federal public health officials identified as the source of a multi-state Salmonella Bredeney outbreak in September. The lawsuit was filed in Worcester County Superior Court on behalf of the Henson family and their 4-year-old son of Worcester County, Massachusetts.

The complaint alleges that Ms. Henson purchased Valencia peanut butter on multiple occasions between May and July. Her child, who regularly ate peanut butter on sandwiches and other items, became ill with nausea, cramps, and diarrhea—all symptoms of Salmonella infection—on July 31, 2012. According to the complaint, he required 2 visits to the pediatrician. A stool sample submitted during one of the visits later tested positive for Salmonella Bredeney, the strain of Salmonella public health officials have shown is associated with the consumption of peanut butter made by Sunland, including Trader Joe’s Valencia peanut butter.

A lawsuit will be filed in California this week against Forever Cheese, Inc., The Aniata Cheese Co., and Cookbook Los Angeles—the cheese importer, distributor and retailer whose Marte brand Frescolina ricotta salata cheese was identified as the source of a multi-state Listeria outbreak in September. The lawsuit was filed in Los Angeles County Superior Court on behalf of Joanna Valentine and Laurie Sorenson and their infant son, who was born prematurely when Ms. Valentine became ill with a Listeria infection after eating the imported ricotta salata cheese.

Ms. Valentine, who was 25 weeks pregnant, consumed Listeria-contaminated ricotta salata cheese several times in the first week of September. She began experiencing symptoms of Listeria infection, including fatigue and back pain, on September 12. Over the next several days, her symptoms worsened and she was treated at an urgent care clinic. On September 18, Ms. Sorenson took Ms. Valentine to the emergency room, where she was rushed to labor and delivery for treatment. Their son was born the next day, at 27 weeks gestation. Both he and Ms. Valentine’s placenta tested positive for the same strain of Listeria that was isolated from samples of ricotta salata cheese imported by Forever Cheese. The baby remains hospitalized in the neonatal intensive care unit, where he has been treated for a myriad of issues, including high blood pressure, kidney failure, and spinal meningitis and bleeding around his brain.

FDA finds Poor Sanitary Practices at Chamberlain Farms Cause of Salmonella Outbreak

270 sickened, 101 hospitalized and three dead.

In September the CDC announced a total of 270 persons infected with the outbreak strains of Salmonella Typhimurium (240 persons) and Salmonella Newport (30 persons) reported from 26 states.  The number of ill persons infected with the outbreak strain of Salmonella Typhimurium identified in each state is as follows: Alabama (16), Arkansas (6), California (2), Florida (1), Georgia (9), Iowa (10), Illinois (26), Indiana (24), Kentucky (70), Massachusetts (2), Maryland (1), Michigan (6), Minnesota (5), Missouri (15), Mississippi (7), Montana (1), New Jersey (2), North Carolina (7), Ohio (6), Oklahoma (1), Pennsylvania (2), South Carolina (5), Tennessee (8), Texas (2), and Wisconsin (6).  The number of ill persons infected with the outbreak strain of Salmonella Newport identified in each state is as follows: Illinois (8), Indiana (9), Michigan (1), Missouri (6), Ohio (3), Virginia (1), and Wisconsin (2).  101 ill persons had been hospitalized. Three deaths were been reported in Kentucky.

Collaborative investigation efforts of state, local, and federal public health and regulatory agencies indicate that cantaloupe originating from Chamberlain Farms Produce, Inc. of Owensville, Indiana is a source of the outbreak.

Today the FDA 483 Inspection Report was released.  Here is the PDF and here is the report in full:

1.  During the inspection I observed, indications of poor sanitary practices demonstrating contamination in the firm's cantaloupe packing shed through environmental swabs and product samples which tested positive for Salmonella as follows:

  • During this inspection on 08/16/2012, cantaloupes were collected from the 21-acre field located at Old 65 and Co Rd 525 W and tested positive for Salmonella Newport and Salmonella Typhimurium.
  • During this inspection on 08/16/2012, cantaloupes were also collected from a cardboard bin after processing in the packing shed and tested positive for Salmonella Newport.
  • During the inspection 08114/2012, environmental swabs were collected from various locations and surfaces throughout the packing shed. 7 of 50 environmental swabs tested positive for Salmonella Newport. 2 of 50 environmental swabs tested positive for Salmonella Anatum.

2. Food contact surfaces are not constructed/designed in a manner to allow for appropriate cleaning:  
On 08114/2012, while cantaloupes were being processed, I observed, porous food contact surfaces including carpet and wood used throughout the cantaloupe processing line which does not allow for adequate cleaning. Apparent rust and corrosion on multiple pieces of equipment throughout the processing line was also observed.

3.  Failure to clean as frequently as necessary to protect against contamination of food: 
 On 08114/2012, while cantaloupes were being processed, I observed, multiple locations of the conveyor including rollers and belts, had an accumulation of black, green, and brown buildup. There was an accumulation of debris including trash, wood, food pieces, standing water, mud, dirt, and green buildup observed beneath the conveyer belt in the cantaloupe packing shed.

4.  On 08/14/2012, while cantaloupes were being processed, I observed, standing water in the packing shed on the floor directly below the first _____ conveyer belts of the packing line and on the drip table, which is below the bristle conveyer belt where cantaloupes are being washed and rinsed. This water appeared to have algae growing in it.

5.  The processing water line is not constructed in such a manner as to prevent food contamination: 
 On 08/ 14/2012, while cantaloupes were being processed, I observed the pipe used to supply well water into the dump tank and spray nozzles over the conveyer belt were leaking and appeared to have an accumulation of rust. This water comes into direct contact with the cantaloupe as they are traveling along the processing line.

6.  The firm was not monitoring the effective levels of the chlorine sanitizer in the water contained in the concrete dump tank of the cantaloupe processing line, nor could firm management provide monitoring records to that effect.

7.  Failure to remove litter and waste that may constitute an attractant, breeding place, or harborage area for pests, within the immediate vicinity of the plant buildings or structures: 
 On 08/14/2012, the firm's garbage receptacle (located on the outside west wall of the packing shed approximately 15 from the processing line) was overflowing with garbage. The north and south sides of the processing shed do not have a wall and is exposed directly to the outside environment.

It is really hard to imagine that a year after the deadliest foodborne illness in the United States in 100 years, that we would be having another cantaloupe outbreak and the conditions on the farm were so poor.

Salmonella Mangoes, Cantaloupe, Peanut Butter and now Salmon

Some 300 people in Europe and the United States are reported ill from consuming Salmonella smoked salmon.  More information is expected today.  But, look what Salmonella has been doing to our food supply over the last month.

Chamberlain Farms Cantaloupe – A total of 270 persons infected with the outbreak strains of Salmonella Typhimurium (240 persons) and Salmonella Newport (30 persons) have been reported from 26 states.

The number of ill persons infected with the outbreak strain of Salmonella Typhimurium identified in each state is as follows: Alabama (16), Arkansas (6), California (2), Florida (1), Georgia (9), Iowa (10), Illinois (26), Indiana (24), Kentucky (70), Massachusetts (2), Maryland (1), Michigan (6), Minnesota (5), Missouri (15), Mississippi (7), Montana (1), New Jersey (2), North Carolina (7), Ohio (6), Oklahoma (1), Pennsylvania (2), South Carolina (5), Tennessee (8), Texas (2), and Wisconsin (6).

The number of ill persons infected with the outbreak strain of Salmonella Newport identified in each state is as follows: Illinois (8), Indiana (9), Michigan (1), Missouri (6), Ohio (3), Virginia (1), and Wisconsin (2).

101 ill persons have been hospitalized. Three deaths have been reported in Kentucky.  We have filed two lawsuits.

Daniella Mangoes – A total of 121 persons infected with the outbreak strain of Salmonella Braenderup have been reported from 15 states.

The number of ill persons identified in each state is as follows: California (93), Delaware (1), Hawaii (4), Idaho (1), Illinois (2), Maine (1), Michigan (1), Montana (1), Nebraska (1), New Jersey (1), New York (3), Oregon (1), Texas (2), Washington (8), and Wisconsin (1).

25 ill persons have been hospitalized.  We have filed one lawsuit.

Sunland Peanut Butter – A total of 30 persons infected with the outbreak strain of Salmonella Bredeney have been reported from 19 states.

The number of ill persons identified in each state is as follows: Arizona (1), California (2), Connecticut (3), Illinois (1), Louisiana (1), Massachusetts (3), Maryland (1), Michigan (1), Minnesota (1), Missouri (1), Nevada (1), New Jersey (2), New York (1), North Carolina (1), Pennsylvania (2), Rhode Island (1), Texas (4), Virginia (1), and Washington (2).

4 ill persons have been hospitalized. No deaths have been reported.  We have filed two lawsuits.

So, what food is next for Salmonella?

What's wrong with Washington?

No, not that Washington – the other Washington.  My state has the dubious distinction (this week) – along with California, New York and New Jersey - to be home to at least three of the nationwide foodborne illness outbreaks – those are Salmonella Mangoes and Peanut Butter and Listeria Cheese.

Daniella Mangoes – A total of 121 persons infected with the outbreak strain of Salmonella Braenderup have been reported from 15 states.

The number of ill persons identified in each state is as follows: California (93), Delaware (1), Hawaii (4), Idaho (1), Illinois (2), Maine (1), Michigan (1), Montana (1), Nebraska (1), New Jersey (1), New York (3), Oregon (1), Texas (2), Washington (8), and Wisconsin (1).

25 ill persons have been hospitalized.  We have filed one lawsuit.

Sunland Peanut Butter – A total of 30 persons infected with the outbreak strain of Salmonella Bredeney have been reported from 19 states.

The number of ill persons identified in each state is as follows: Arizona (1), California (2), Connecticut (3), Illinois (1), Louisiana (1), Massachusetts (3), Maryland (1), Michigan (1), Minnesota (1), Missouri (1), Nevada (1), New Jersey (2), New York (1), North Carolina (1), Pennsylvania (2), Rhode Island (1), Texas (4), Virginia (1), and Washington (2).

4 ill persons have been hospitalized. No deaths have been reported.  We will file one lawsuit.

Ricotta Salata Frescolina Cheese – A total of 18 persons infected with the outbreak-associated strain of Listeria monocytogenes have been reported from 12 states and the District of Columbia.

The number of ill persons identified in each state is as follows: California (1), Colorado (1), District of Columbia (1), Maryland (3), Minnesota (1), Nebraska (1), New Jersey (3), New Mexico (1), New York (1), Ohio (1), Pennsylvania (2), Virginia (1), and Washington (1).

All 18 ill persons were hospitalized. Three deaths have been reported. Listeriosis contributed to at least one of these deaths. One fetal loss has been reported.  We have filed one lawsuit.

What's with Listeria Cheese and Salmonella Mangoes and Peanut Butter in California, New Jersey, New York, Washington?

Four states with little in common except food poisoning its citizens.

Mangoes-map.jpegDaniella Mangoes – A total of 121 persons infected with the outbreak strain of Salmonella Braenderup have been reported from 15 states.

The number of ill persons identified in each state is as follows: California (93), Delaware (1), Hawaii (4), Idaho (1), Illinois (2), Maine (1), Michigan (1), Montana (1), Nebraska (1), New Jersey (1), New York (3), Oregon (1), Texas (2), Washington (8), and Wisconsin (1).

25 ill persons have been hospitalized.  We have filed one lawsuit.

PB-map.jpegSunland Peanut Butter – A total of 30 persons infected with the outbreak strain of Salmonella Bredeney have been reported from 19 states.

The number of ill persons identified in each state is as follows: Arizona (1), California (2), Connecticut (3), Illinois (1), Louisiana (1), Massachusetts (3), Maryland (1), Michigan (1), Minnesota (1), Missouri (1), Nevada (1), New Jersey (2), New York (1), North Carolina (1), Pennsylvania (2), Rhode Island (1), Texas (4), Virginia (1), and Washington (2).

4 ill persons have been hospitalized.  We will file one lawsuit.

Cheese-map.jpegRicotta Salata Frescolina Cheese – A total of 18 persons infected with the outbreak-associated strain of Listeria monocytogenes have been reported from 12 states and the District of Columbia.

The number of ill persons identified in each state is as follows: California (1), Colorado (1), District of Columbia (1), Maryland (3), Minnesota (1), Nebraska (1), New Jersey (3), New Mexico (1), New York (1), Ohio (1), Pennsylvania (2), Virginia (1), and Washington (1).

All 18 ill persons were hospitalized. Three deaths have been reported. Listeriosis contributed to at least one of these deaths. One fetal loss has been reported.  We have filed one lawsuit.

Listeria Forever Cheese Outbreak Expands

A total of 18 persons infected with the outbreak-associated strain of Listeria monocytogenes have been reported from 12 states and the District of Columbia. The number of ill persons identified in each state is as follows: California (1), Colorado (1), District of Columbia (1), Maryland (3), Minnesota (1), Nebraska (1), New Jersey (3), New Mexico (1), New York (1), Ohio (1), Pennsylvania (2), Virginia (1), and Washington (1).

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On September 14, 2012, Forever Cheese, Inc. issued an expanded recall of all lots and production codesExternal Web Site Icon cheese and issued a market withdrawal of all cheeses they received that were produced by the Italian cheese maker.

Marte brand Frescolina ricotta salata cheese may also have been referred to as Ricotta Frescolina Marte Tipo Toscanella or Ricotta Salata SoftExternal Web Site Icon (lot number T9425) during distribution.

Listeria:  Marler Clark, The Food Safety Law Firm, is the nation’s leading law firm representing victims of Listeria outbreaks. The Listeria lawyers of Marler Clark have represented thousands of victims of Listeria 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 Listeria lawyers have litigated Listeria cases stemming from outbreaks traced to a variety of foods, such as cantaloupe, cheese, celery and milk.   Marler Clark is presently representing 42 victims and their families in the 2011 Jensen Farms Listeria cantaloupe outbreak.

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