Salmonella LawsuitA Salmonella lawsuit Friday against Del Monte Fresh Produce on behalf of a Colorado family whose 12-year-old daughter was hospitalized after contracting a Salmonella infection from Del Monte brand cantaloupe purchased from Costco.

According to the complaint, the child ate Del Monte cantaloupe in early March and began to experience gastrointestinal symptoms on approximately March 4. The symptoms worsened until March 10, when the girl was admitted to a local hospital where she was diagnosed with a Salmonella infection.

On March 22 Del Monte recalled 4,992 cartons of cantaloupe sold at Costco locations after 13 Salmonella illnesses in Washington (4 cases), Oregon (5 cases), California (2 cases), Colorado (1 case), and Maryland (1 case) were confirmed to be caused by Del Monte cantaloupe.

“Del Monte had a responsibility to provide its customers with safe, healthy, unadulterated cantaloupe,” said Marler Clark Salmonella lawyer Bill Marler. “Kids should not land in the hospital because they choose to eat fruit instead of processed foods.”

Marler pointed out that this is the third cantaloupe recall Del Monte has initiated due to Salmonella contamination in less than two years. In late 2009 the California State Department of Public Health warned consumers not to eat Del Monte cantaloupe due to Salmonella contamination and the company recalled 1,120 cartons of its product. In 2010, Michigan Department of Agriculture testing detected the presence of Salmonella on Del Monte cantaloupe, and the company recalled 81 cartons of cantaloupe.

“By nature cantaloupe is risker than some other fruits, but with proper safety precautions Salmonella outbreaks are preventable,” added Marler. “The onus is on businesses like Del Monte who want to sell us fruit and vegetables to make sure those products aren’t harmful to customers.”