Minnesota resident files lawsuit after falling ill from Salmonella poisoning; Uncooked foods pose a greater threat of poisoning than those cooked to 160 degrees.

As of September 24, 2015, Hopkins resident Christine Bento has filed a lawsuit against Chipotle Mexican Grill Inc., for damages related to Salmonella poisoning after consuming food sold and prepared by a Chipotle restaurant in St. Louis Park, Minnesota. Chipotle Mexican Grill Inc. is a Delaware establishment that operates fast-casual, fresh Mexican food restaurants nationwide. Bento is being represented by William D. Marler, food safety attorney and managing partner at Marler Clark LLP, which is based in Seattle. The case number is: 0:15-cv-03724.

On or about August 19, 2015, Christine Bento dined at a Chipotle restaurant located at 5480 Excelsior Boulevard, St. Louis Park, MN. A few days after eating Chipotle’s food, Christine began to experience diarrhea, stomach pains, nausea, vomiting, and a headache. Two days after that, on August 25, Christine visited the Park Nicollet Clinic, as her symptoms had not subsided. She was then admitted to Park Nicollet-Methodist Hospital overnight, and submitted a stool culture for testing.

Following her discharge from the hospital, Christine continued to experience stomach pain, diarrhea, and cramping. Her stool sample ultimately tested positive for Salmonella Newport, the same strain found in tomatoes that are linked to the current outbreak stemming from local Chipotle restaurants.

Since late August 2015, a total of 64 cases and 22 locations within Minnesota have now been tied to this outbreak. The Minnesota Department of Health (MDH) has reported that 9 individuals have been hospitalized due to the severity of their symptoms.

Unfortunately, this is not the first foodborne illness outbreak Chipotle has seen in the past few years. Aside from the current Salmonella outbreak, various Chipotle restaurants across the nation have been tied to several serious outbreaks of E.coli, hepatitis A, Campylobacter, and Norovirus. This is the second lawsuit that food safety attorney, Bill Marler, has filed against Chipotle in regard to the Salmonella-tainted tomatoes.

Salmonella is a bacteria that can be killed at a temperature of 160 degrees,” says Marler, who has been an avid advocate for preventative food safety measures since he represented the most severely injured survivor of the historic Jack-in-the-Box E.coli outbreak in the early 1990s. “However, because Salmonella can spread on contact,” he continued, “We often find outbreaks stemming from uncooked foods, such as tomatoes, cucumbers, and spinach that may have been in contact with another food product bearing the bacteria.”

Marler advises restaurants to strictly adhere to food safety protocols in an effort to avoid cross-contamination of bacteria and other pathogens. He also urges employees at food establishments to wash their hands well, and wash them frequently. “Salmonella lives in both animal and human fecal matter,” he said, “So utilizing proper personal hygiene practices after using the restroom make all the difference.”

Salmonella poisoning can lead to more chronic ailments such as reactive arthritis and Reiter’s syndrome, a debilitating syndrome caused by gastrointestinal or genitourinary infections. For some individuals, irritable bowel syndrome (IBS) may also occur following a serious infection brought on by Salmonella. For more information on Salmonella, please visit http://www.about-salmonella.com.

Marler Clark, The Food Safety Law Firm, is the nation’s leading law firm representing victims of foodborne illness 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. Marler Clark attorneys have litigated foodborne illness 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 firm has brought Salmonella lawsuits against companies such as Cargill, ConAgra, Peanut Corporation of America, Sheetz, Taco Bell, Subway and Wal-Mart.