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

Wegmans Organic Spinach & Spring Mix E. coli Outbreak Nears 30

The CDC just reported a total of 28 persons infected with the outbreak strain of Shiga toxin-producing Escherichia coli O157:H7 (STEC O157:H7) have been reported from five states, with most cases in New York.  The number of ill people identified in each state with the outbreak strain is as follows: Connecticut (2), Massachusetts (2), New York (22), Pennsylvania (1), and Virginia (1).

42% of ill persons have been hospitalized. Two ill persons have developed hemolytic uremic syndrome (HUS), a type of kidney failure, and no deaths have been reported.

The outbreak was initially in New York. More recently, more ill persons in other states have been reported, and the investigation has expanded.

Collaborative investigation efforts of state, local, and federal public health and regulatory agencies indicate that Wegmans brand Organic Spinach and Spring Mix blend produced by State Garden of Chelsea, Massachusetts, is one likely source of this outbreak.

Four leftover packages of Wegmans brand Organic Spinach and Spring Mix blend collected from four ill persons’ homes yielded the outbreak strain of STEC O157:H7.

On November 2, 2012, Wegmans recalled 5-ounce and 11-ounce packages of Organic Spinach and Spring Mix blend, produced by State Garden, because they may be contaminated with STEC O157:H7. The products were withdrawn from the market, and shoppers were notified.

Marler Clark has filed one case and has been retained in six others.  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.