A bakery might seem like an unlikely source for a salmonella outbreak, but the recent outbreak in Rhode Island is not the first. As reported earlier today, Rhode Island health officials are investigating an outbreak of Salmonella, possibly related to a pastries called zeppoles. ( I learned today that a zeppole is a supposedly “light” deep-fried dough ball.) So far, 19 persons have been reported ill. Furthermore, health officials found that pastry cream used in zeppoles and éclairs was stored at unsafe temperatures as well as unsanitary conditions in the store.
One of the first cases I worked on at Marler Clark was also a Salmonella outbreak at a bakery. In 2002, the Macomb County Health Department (MCHD) and Michigan Department of Agriculture (MDA) investigated a Salmonella Enteritidis outbreak associated with the Black Forest Cakes & Pastries shop in Macomb, Michigan. It was concluded that cannolis and cassata cakes purchased from the bakery were the source of over 196 Salmonella cases. 24 of those sickened were hospitalized.
Marler Clark attorneys represented over 30 people in Salmonella claims against the bakery. All cases had resolved by early 2003.