Canadian Couple Suffer Major Illnesses, Including Appendicitis, After Consuming Salmonella Tainted Chia Seed Powder

Husband and wife from Alberta are two of 63 confirmed cases in Canada; Seek counsel from food safety law firm, MarlerClark, to file suit against manufacturer Navitas Naturals

Marler Clark, the nation’s only law firm dedicated to representing victims of foodborne illness, has filed a lawsuit in the United States District Court for the Northern District of California on behalf of Timothy and Jennifer Stoddart, two Sylvan Lake residents sickened with a Salmonella infection linked to the nationwide recall in early June of sprouted chia seed powder and sprouted chia/flax seed powder from Navitas Naturals©, the Superfood Company™. The suit’s case number is 3:14-cv-03993.

On May 9, 2014, Timothy and Jennifer Stoddart purchased chia powder at the Natural Solutions store in Sylvan Lake, Alberta. Just two days later, they began to suffer from severe gastrointestinal symptoms. For the next several months, the couple was in and out of hospitals receiving treatment, including surgery for Timothy, whose appendix was removed due to appendicitis. It was ultimately determined that both plaintiffs were suffering from a Salmonella infection, which was the direct result of consuming Navitas Naturals chia powder.

The Public Health Agency of Canada is collaborating with Provincial public health partners, the Canadian Food Inspection Agency, and Health Canada to investigate 63 Canadian cases of Salmonella infection linked to the consumption of sprouted chia seed powder. In Canada, two strains of Salmonella have been associated with this outbreak: Salmonella Newport and Salmonella Hartford. As a part of this investigation, the Canadian Food Inspection Agency has issued food recall warnings for various products containing sprouted chia seeds and sprouted chia seed powder under the brands Organic Traditions, Back 2 the Garden, Intuitive Path SuperFoods, Harmonic Arts Botanical Dispensary, Naturallyorganic, and Pete’s Gluten Free.

“Many people think that healthy foods are not susceptible to Salmonella outbreaks, but that is just not true,” said Bill Marler, who has been working to help improve food safety standards since representing victims of the Jack in the Box E. coli outbreak in the early 1990s. “Healthy foods are just as prone to Salmonella and E. coli as milk and eggs.”

Salmonella is transmitted by food, water, or surfaces that have been contaminated with the feces of an infected animal or person. Many animals carry Salmonella yet do not get sick. It can also be found in unpasteurized egg and milk products. It is commonly transmitted via the fecal-oral route, from one infected person to another. Symptoms (which develop 6 to 72 hours after infection) may be mild and a person can continue to carry Salmonella for weeks after symptoms have subsided.

The best ways to prevent the spread of this illness are to avoid preparing food for others while ill, thoroughly cooking meat and egg products, not consuming unpasteurized eggs and milk products, and washing hands, especially after using the bathroom and before handling or preparing food.

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.