The CDC reported as of November 23, 2015, 19 people infected with the outbreak strain of E. coli O157:H7 have been reported from 7 states. Five ill people have been hospitalized, and 2 have developed hemolytic uremic syndrome, a type of kidney failure. No deaths have been reported. Preliminary laboratory evidence indicates that a celery and onion diced blend produced by Taylor Farms Pacific, Inc. may be contaminated with E. coli O157:H7. This product was used to make the Costco rotisserie chicken salad eaten by ill people in this outbreak. Fourteen (88%) of 16 people purchased or ate rotisserie chicken salad from Costco in the week before illness started.
The Montana Public Health Laboratory tested a sample of celery and onion diced blend collected from a Costco location. Preliminary results indicated the presence of E. coli O157:H7. Laboratory testing is ongoing to isolate the E. coli bacteria and then determine the DNA fingerprint. As a result of the preliminary laboratory results, on November 26, 2015, Taylor Farms Pacific, Inc., voluntarily recalled multiple products containing celery because they may be contaminated with E. coli O157:H7.
According to a 2014 report by the Minnesota Department of Health (MDOH), 57 individuals who met the case definition were deemed to be part of an E. coli O157:H7 outbreak linked to Jim-N-Joe’s Northland Katering. Of those ill, 65% were women. All cases reported diarrhea, 96% cramps, 61% bloody stool, 37% vomiting and 19% fever. 37% sought medical treatment with 16% hospitalized. No one developed hemolytic uremic syndrome (HUS).
After an exhaustive investigation, MDOH concluded that the common server at the five events between July 1 and July 17 on the Fond du Lac Reservation was Jim-N-Joe’s Northland Katering. MDOH also found that the most common food items were the celery and onions. Potato Salad, which included celery and onions was found to be tainted with E. coli O157:H7. Cases were also identified at events where potato salad was not served, but celery was. The celery was traced back to a field adjacent to a defunct dairy operation near Gonzales, California.
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.
If you or a family member became ill with an E. coli infection or HUS after consuming food and you’re interested in pursuing a legal claim, contact the Marler Clark E. coli attorneys for a free case evaluation.