Salmonella Sushi Outbreak still rages

MarlerClark.pngPottawatomie County, Oklahoma – The Salmonella lawyers and attorneys of Marler Clark have filed another lawsuit against Taco Bell on behalf of an Oklahoma child who was hospitalized with a Salmonella Enteritidis infection.  This is the second lawsuit Marler Clark has filed against Taco Bell in 2012.

The lawsuit is being filed while another nationwide Salmonella outbreak is still raging.  Yesterday, the Centers of Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) announced a total of 141 persons infected with the outbreak strain of Salmonella Bareilly have been reported from 20 states and the District of Columbia.  21 ill persons have been hospitalized.  The number of ill persons identified in each state is as follows: Alabama (2), Arkansas (1), Connecticut (6), District of Columbia (2), Florida (1), Georgia (6), Illinois (13), Louisiana (3), Maryland (14), Massachusetts (9), Mississippi (2), Missouri (4), New Jersey (8), New York (28), North Carolina (2), Pennsylvania (6), Rhode Island (5), South Carolina (3), Texas (4), Virginia (8), and Wisconsin (14).  The outbreak has been linked to raw tuna sushi.

In the Taco Bell Salmonella outbreak in January 2012 the CDC announced that it was working with state and local health departments to investigate a Salmonella Enteritidis outbreak that had sickened 68 people in the following 10 states:  Texas (43 ill), Oklahoma (16), Kansas (2), Iowa (1), Michigan (1), Missouri (1), Nebraska (1), New Mexico (1), Ohio (1), and Tennessee (1).  While the source of the Salmonella outbreak was initially deemed “a Mexican-style fast food restaurant chain A,” on February 1 the Oklahoma State Department of Health revealed food served at Taco Bell as the source.

According to a complaint filed in Pottawatomie County District Court (#CJ-2012-150), a 9-year-old child and her mother dined at a Taco Bell restaurant located at 4837 North Kickapoo Avenue, Shawnee, Oklahoma on October 17 and 20, 2011.  On October 22, the child began experiencing painful gastrointestinal symptoms.  Although treated by a pediatrician, the symptoms continued and the child was taken to the emergency room where a blood sample was taken that would test positive for Salmonella Enteritidis.  After the ER visit, she continued to experience increasingly dangerous symptoms, including a 105°F fever.  She was rushed to the hospital where she remained for 3 days.  After discharge, she continued to have symptoms related to her Salmonella infection for multiple weeks. The child’s family later spoke with health department officials who eventually linked her illness with the 2011 Taco Bell Salmonella outbreak.

“Obviously no restaurant wants to sicken its customers, but when an outbreak does occur the companies that sold the contaminated food are responsible – plain and simple,” said the family’s attorney, William Marler, whose firm, Marler Clark has represented thousands of victims of Salmonella outbreaks, including outbreaks traced to Taco Bell, Chili’s, Subway and KFC restaurants and food products sold by ConAgra, Cargill, and Peanut Corporation of America.   

Salmonella is a growing concern of mine.” Added Marler, “It sickens forty thousand and kills four hundred annually. Couple that with the surge of antibiotic-resistant Salmonella and I’d like to see food companies doing more to publicly address the issue.”