Poisoned book Jeff Benedict.pngBest-selling author Jeff Benedict this year released Poisoned: The True Story of the Deadly E. coli Outbreak that Changed the Way Americans Eat, which chronicles the history-making 1993 Jack in the Box outbreak that introduced the nation to a deadly foodborne pathogen: E. coli O157:H7. Poisoned has received rave reviews from news outlets like the New York Times and Associated Press, and is recommend reading for anyone concerned about the state of the American food supply.

At least six universities have found value in the new book, as well. Washington State University, Seattle University, Northeastern University, the New England School of Law, Brigham Young University-Idaho, and the Arkansas School of Law all plan to use the Poisoned in part of their curriculum for the 2011-2012 school year. The schools were given books as part of a donation drive performed by the book’s central figure, food safety attorney William Marler, and Benedict. From courses in legal writing, journalism and public affairs to nutrition and microbiology, each school is planning to utilize the donated books in a unique way.

“Having conducted hundreds of interviews in the construction of this story, it wasn’t long before I came to realize the utter complexity of the Jack in the Box situation,” said Benedict. “Poisoned reveals the comprehensive nature of a foodborne illness outbreak. Corporate executives, public health officials, lawyers on both sides, and of course the victims all had very unique rolls in the outcome, and in this book you really see that. I am pleased to see Poisoned serve as a teaching tool in so many fields.”

Marler and Benedict felt that law students especially would benefit from the legal drama that played out between Jack in the Box’s corporate and insurance defense attorneys and Marler, who represented the most severely injured survivor of the outbreak. Together, they have donated copies of Poisoned to the deans of the nation’s top 50 law schools.

Bill Marler was a young attorney navigating uncharted legal waters when he represented children made seriously ill in the 1993 Jack in the Box E. coli outbreak. Today, his firm Marler Clark is considered to be the nation’s leading food safety law firm. Marler works frequently with industry groups, academia, and government to improve food safety in the U.S. and around the world. Learn more at http://www.marlerblog.com

Jeff Benedict is a critically acclaimed investigative author who published his first book in 1997. He has since written many others including Without Reservation: How a Controversial Indian Tribe Rose to Power and Built the World’s Largest Casino and Little Pink House: A True Story of Defiance and Courage. Learn more at http://www.jeffbenedict.com