Salmonella Pine Nuts:

pinenuts.bmpThe Salmonella attorneys of Marler Clark, the nation’s leading law firm dedicated to representing victims of foodborne illness outbreaks, have filed a Salmonella lawsuit on behalf of a Rochester, New York man who was made ill after consuming Turkish pine nuts imported by Delaware-based American Pistachio Corp. According to the complaint filed in New York Federal District Court, college student Sean McGuirk consumed a pasta meal made with Turkish pine nuts on August 28, 2011. By September 3, he had developed gastrointestinal symptoms indicative of a Salmonella illness. Over the next week, Mr. McGuirk’s symptoms worsened, resulting in his missing class at St. John Fisher College. By September 9, he was taken to Strong Memorial Hospital where he underwent treatment until he was discharged on September 11. The Mr. McGuirk was notified by health officials that his illness was part of a Salmonella outbreak linked to imported Turkish pine nuts.

“While food companies need to ensure the safety of all the products they sell, producers and distributers should be especially vigilant when it comes to ready-to-eat foods such as pine nuts,” said McGuirk’s attorney, William Marler. “I am hopeful that American Pistachio will address this issue directly and proactively by not only making sure that the victims of this outbreak are compensated for their medical expenses, but by reevaluating their food safety procedures for the future.”

Salmonella Chicken Livers:

chickenlivers.bmpThe CDC has released its summary of the Salmonella chicken liver outbreak, which has sickened many people in New York, New Jersey, other states.  Working in conjunction with the USDA and various state and local health departments, the CDC is investigating a multistate outbreak of Salmonella Heidelberg infections linked to a kosher chicken liver product labeled as “kosher broiled chicken livers,” which is not ready-to-eat and requires further cooking before eating. Public health investigators are using DNA “fingerprints” of Salmonella bacteria obtained through diagnostic testing with pulsed-field gel electrophoresis (PFGE) to identify cases of illness that may be part of this outbreak. They are using data from PulseNet, the national subtyping network made up of state and local public health laboratories and federal food regulatory laboratories that performs molecular surveillance of foodborne infections. Because the Salmonella Heidelberg PFGE pattern associated with this outbreak commonly occurs in the United States, some of the cases with this pattern may not be related to this outbreak. Based on the previous 5 years of reports to PulseNet, approximately 30-40 cases with the outbreak strain would be expected to be reported per month in the United States. The outbreak strain is different from another strain of Salmonella Heidelberg associated with ground turkey recalled earlier this year.

In August 2011, CDC identified a sustained increase in the number of Salmonella Heidelberg isolates with the outbreak strain reported to PulseNet from New York and New Jersey. From April 1 to November 4, 2011, a total of 157 illnesses were reported in New York (93 cases) and New Jersey (64 cases). Based on the previous 5 years of reports to PulseNet, New York and New Jersey would expect approximately 5 cases per month, but in June through August 2011, these states experienced approximately 30-40 cases a month. No significant increase in the number of illnesses above baseline was identified in other areas in the United States during this period.

Among persons for whom information is available in New York and New Jersey, illnesses began on or after March 13, 2011. Ill persons range in age from <1 to 97 years with a median age of 10 years. Fifty-two percent are female. Among the 125 ill persons with available information, 21 (17%) have been hospitalized. No deaths have been reported.