080204-marler-hmed-1p.grid-6x2The E. coli lawyers of Marler Clark have many years of experience working with clients on E. coli outbreak lawsuits.

E. coli are bacteria that can cause serious, sometimes fatal, infections in humans.  The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) estimates that E. coli causes 2,000 hospitalizations in the United States each year.

Ten percent of E. coli victims develop hemolytic uremic syndrome (HUS), which can cause kidney failure, damage to the central nervous system, and ultimately death.

The Marler Clark E. coli lawyers have unmatched experience representing victims of E. coli and HUS.  We have represented hundreds of victims of E. coli outbreaks traced to foods such as hamburgers, spinach, raw milk, water, and food served at restaurants.  The Marler Clark E. coli lawyers are the only lawyers in the nation with a practice focused exclusively on plaintiff foodborne illness litigation.

Our E. coli lawyers have represented victims of notable E. coli outbreaks such as the 2006 Dole Spinach E. coli outbreak, the 2007 Cargill beef E. coli outbreak, and the landmark 1993 Jack in the Box E. coli outbreak. Contact us today to learn more about our services.

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.

MCthefoodsafetylawfirmThe Salmonella lawyers of Marler Clark have many years of experience working with clients on Salmonella outbreak lawsuits.

Salmonella is one of the most common intestinal infections in the United States. Salmonellosis (the disease caused by Salmonella) is the second most common foodborne illness.

It is estimated that:

  • 1.4 million cases of salmonellosis occur each year in the U.S.
  • 95% of those cases are foodborne-related
  • Approximately 220 of each 1000 cases result in hospitalization and eight of every 1000 cases result in death
  • About 500 to 1,000 or 31% of all food-related deaths are caused by Salmonella infections each year.

Salmonella infection occurs when the bacteria are ingested, typically from food derived from infected food-animals, but it can also occur by ingesting the feces of an infected animal or person. Food sources include raw or undercooked eggs/egg products, raw milk or raw milk products, contaminated water, meat and meat products, and poultry. Raw fruits and vegetables contaminated during slicing have been implicated in several salmonella outbreaks.

The Marler Clark Salmonella lawyers have unmatched experience representing victims of Salmonella outbreaks.  We have represented thousands of Salmonella victims and are the only lawyers in the nation with a practice focused exclusively on plaintiff foodborne illness litigation.

Our Salmonella lawyers have represented victims of notable Salmonella outbreaks such as the 2004 Sheetz and Coronet Foods tomato Salmonella outbreak, the 2009 PCA peanut Salmonella outbreak, and the 2011 Cargill ground turkey antibiotic-resistant Salmonella outbreak. Contact us today to learn more about our services.

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

If you or a family member became ill with a Salmonella infection, including Reactive Arthritis or Irritable bowel syndrome (IBS), after consuming food and you’re interested in pursuing a legal claim, contact the Marler Clark Salmonella attorneys for a free case evaluation.

The E. coli lawyers of Marler Clark have many years of experience working with clients on E. coli outbreak lawsuits.

E. coli are bacteria that can cause serious, sometimes fatal, infections in humans.  The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) estimates that E. coli causes 2,000 hospitalizations in the United States each year.

Ten percent of E. coli victims develop hemolytic uremic syndrome (HUS), which can cause kidney failure, damage to the central nervous system, and ultimately death.

The Marler Clark E. coli lawyers have unmatched experience representing victims of E. coli and HUS.  We have represented hundreds of victims of E. coli outbreaks traced to foods such as hamburgers, spinach, raw milk, water, and food served at restaurants.  The Marler Clark E. coli lawyers are the only lawyers in the nation with a practice focused exclusively on plaintiff foodborne illness litigation.

Our E. coli lawyers have represented victims of notable E. coli outbreaks such as the 2006 Dole Spinach E. coli outbreak, the 2007 Cargill beef E. coli outbreak, and the landmark 1993 Jack in the Box E. coli outbreak. Contact us today to learn more about our services.

MCthefoodsafetylawfirmMarler 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.

MCthefoodsafetylawfirmMarler Clark, The Food Safety Law Firm, is the nation’s leading law firm representing victims of Salmonella 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. Our Salmonella lawyers have litigated Salmonella 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 law firm has brought Salmonella lawsuits against such companies as Cargill, ConAgra, Peanut Corporation of America, Sheetz, Taco Bell, Subway and Wal-Mart. If you or a family member became ill with a Salmonella infection, including Reactive Arthritis or Irritable bowel syndrome (IBS), after consuming food and you’re interested in pursuing a legal claim, contact the Marler Clark Salmonella attorneys for a free case evaluation.

Bill Marler B-W headshotThe Salmonella lawyers of Marler Clark have many years of experience working with clients on Salmonella outbreak lawsuits.

Salmonella is one of the most common intestinal infections in the United States. Salmonellosis (the disease caused by Salmonella) is the second most common foodborne illness. It is estimated that:

  • 1.4 million cases of salmonellosis occur each year in the U.S.
  • 95% of those cases are foodborne-related
  • Approximately 220 of each 1000 cases result in hospitalization and eight of every 1000 cases result in death
  • About 500 to 1,000 or 31% of all food-related deaths are caused by Salmonella infections each year.

Salmonella infection occurs when the bacteria are ingested, typically from food derived from infected food-animals, but it can also occur by ingesting the feces of an infected animal or person. Food sources include raw or undercooked eggs/egg products, raw milk or raw milk products, contaminated water, meat and meat products, and poultry. Raw fruits and vegetables contaminated during slicing have been implicated in several salmonella outbreaks.

The Marler Clark Salmonella lawyers have unmatched experience representing victims of Salmonella outbreaks.  We have represented thousands of Salmonella victims and are the only lawyers in the nation with a practice focused exclusively on plaintiff foodborne illness litigation.

 Multistate E. coli O121 Outbreak, Jimmy John’s Restaurants Alfalfa Sprouts 2014

19 Sickened – Public health officials in California, Idaho, Michigan, Montana, Utah and Washington collaborated with their federal partners at the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) and the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) to investigate an outbreak of E. coli O121 that occurred in May 2014.  A total of 19 persons with the outbreak strain, identified by PulseNet PFGE Pattern Identification Numbers EXKX01.0011/EXKA26.0001, were reported.  Among persons for whom information was available, dates of illness onset ranged from May 1, 2014 to May 20, 2014.  Ill persons ranged from 11 years to 52 years.  Seven of 16 persons for whom information was available were hospitalized.  No ill person developed hemolytic uremic syndrome and no deaths were reported.

Epidemiologic and traceback investigations conducted by public health officials implicated raw clover sprouts produced by Evergreen Fresh Sprouts, LLC of Hayden, Idaho as the likely source of this outbreak.  Thirteen (81%) of 16 ill persons reported eating raw clover sprouts in the week before becoming ill.  Ill persons in Washington and Idaho reported eating sprouts in sandwiches at several local food establishments including several Jimmy John’s Gourmet Sandwiches locations, the Pita Pit, and Daanen’s Deli.

As part of the investigation the FDA performed a traceback analysis and determined that Evergreen Fresh Sprouts supplied sprouts to seven restaurants with outbreak associated cases.  This analysis used documents collected directly from the distributors and the grower, Evergreen Fresh Sprouts, as well as documents collected by the states from the points of service.

The FDA conducted several inspections at the Evergreen Fresh Sprouts facility in May and June.  During the inspections FDA investigators observed a number of unsanitary conditions, including condensate and irrigation water dripping from rusty valves, a rusty and corroded watering system in the mung bean room, tennis rackets (used to scoop mung bean sprouts) that had scratches, chips and frayed plastic; a pitchfork (used to transfer mung bean sprouts) that had corroded metal, and a squeegee (used to agitate mung bean sprouts inside a soak vat) that had visible corroded metal and non-treated wood.

On June 26, 2014 the FDA and CDC held a meeting with the owner of Evergreen Fresh Sprouts to advise the firm of FDA’s concerns that the seed lot used to row clover sprouts linked to this outbreak might be contaminated and to encourage Evergreen Fresh Sprouts to discontinue using that seed lot.  The owner of Evergreen Fresh Sprouts agreed to stop using the suspected lot of seeds.

Multistate E. coli O26 Outbreak, Jimmy John’s Restaurants Alfalfa Sprouts 2012

29 Sickened – A total of 29 individuals infected with the outbreak strain of E. coli O26 were reported from 11 states, including:  Alabama (1), Arkansas (1), Iowa (5), Kansas (2), Michigan (10), Missouri (3), Ohio (3), Pennsylvania (1), Washington (1), Wisconsin (1), and West Virginia (1).

Of the 27 ill persons with available information, 23 (85%) reported consuming sprouts at Jimmy John’s restaurants in the 7 days preceding illness.  Among 29 ill persons, illness onset dates ranged from December 25, 2011 to March 3, 2012.  Ill persons range in age from 9 years to 57 years old, with a median age of 26 years.  89% of ill persons are female.  Among the 29 ill persons, 7 (24%) were hospitalized. None developed HUS, and no deaths were reported.

Preliminary traceback information identified a common lot of clover seeds used to grow clover sprouts served at Jimmy John’s restaurant locations where ill persons ate.  FDA and states conducted a traceback that identified two separate sprouting facilities; both used the same lot of seed to grow clover sprouts served at these Jimmy John’s restaurant locations.  On February 10, 2012, the seed supplier initiated notification of sprouting facilities that received this lot of clover seed to stop using it.

Results of the epidemiologic and traceback investigations indicated eating raw clover sprouts at Jimmy John’s restaurants was the likely cause of this outbreak.

Sprouters Northwest, Jimmy John’s Restaurants Clover Salmonella Sprouts Outbreak 2010

7 Sickened – Sprouters Northwest of Kent, Washington, issued a product recall after the company’s clover sprouts had been implicated in an outbreak of Salmonella Newport in Oregon and Washington. At least some of the cases had consumed clover sprouts while at a Jimmy John’s restaurant. Jimmy John’s Restaurants are a restaurant chain that sells sandwiches. Concurrent with this outbreak, a separate Salmonella outbreak (Salmonella, serotype I 4,5,12,i- ; see Multistate Outbreak, Tiny Greens Organic Farm, Jimmy John’s Restaurants), involving alfalfa sprouts served at Jimmy John’s restaurants was under investigation. The recall of Northwest Sprouters products included: clover; clover & onion; spicy sprouts; and deli sprouts. The Sprouters Northwest products had been sold to grocery stores and wholesale operations in Washington, Oregon, Idaho, Alaska, British Columbia, Saskatchewan, and Alberta. The FDA inspection found serious sanitary violations.

Multistate Salmonella Outbreak, Tiny Greens Organic Farm, Jimmy John’s Restaurants Alfalfa Sprouts 2010

140 Sickened – On December 17, the Illinois Department of Health announced that an investigation was underway into an outbreak of Salmonella, serotype I4,[5],12:i:-. Many of the Illinois cases had eaten alfalfa sprouts at various Jimmy John’s restaurants in the Illinois counties of: Adams, Champaign, Cook, DuPage, Kankakee, Macon, McHenry, McLean, Peoria, and Will counties. The sprouts were suspected to be the cause of the illnesses. On December 21, Jimmy John Liautaud, the owner of the franchised restaurant chain, requested that all franchisees remove sprouts from the menu as a “precautionary” measure. On December 23, the Centers for Disease Control revealed that outbreak cases had been detected in other states and that the outbreak was linked with eating alfalfa sprouts while at a nationwide sandwich chain. On December 26, preliminary results of the investigation indicated a link to eating Tiny Greens’ Alfalfa Sprouts at Jimmy John’s restaurant outlets. The FDA subsequently advised consumers and restaurants to avoid Tiny Greens Brand Alfalfa Sprouts and Spicy Sprouts produced by Tiny Greens Organic Farm of Urbana, Illinois. The Spicy Sprouts contained alfalfa, radish and clover sprouts. On January 14, 2011, it was revealed that the FDA had isolated Salmonella serotype I4,[5],12:i:- from a water runoff sample collected from Tiny Greens Organic Farm; the Salmonella isolated was indistinguishable from the outbreak strain. The several FDA inspections of the sprout growing facility revealed factors that likely led to contamination of the sprouts.

CW Sprouts, Inc., SunSprout Sprouts, “restaurant chain (Chain A),” a.k.a. Jimmy John’s Salmonella Outbreak 2009

256 Sickened – In February, Nebraska Department of Health and Human Services officials identified six isolates of Salmonella Saintpaul. Although this is a common strain of Salmonella, during 2008, only three cases had been detected in Nebraska and only four subtypes of this outbreak strain had been identified in 2008 in the entire USA. As additional reports were made, a case control study was conducted; alfalfa sprout consumption was found to be significantly related to illness. The initial tracebacks of the sprouts indicated that although the sprouts had been distributed by various companies, the sprouts from the first cases originated from the same sprouting facility in Omaha, Nebraska. Forty-two of the illnesses beginning on March 15 were attributed to sprout growing facilities in other states; these facilities had obtained seed from the same seed producer, Caudill Seed Company of Kentucky. The implicated seeds had been sold in many states. On April 26, the FDA and CDC recommended that consumers not eat raw alfalfa sprouts, including sprout blends containing alfalfa sprouts. In May, FDA alerted sprout growers and retailers that a seed supplier, Caudill Seed Company of Kentucky, was withdrawing all alfalfa seeds with a specific three-digit prefix.  Many of the illnesses occurred at “restaurant chain (Chain A).”

Jimmy John’s Restaurant Alfalfa Sprouts and Iceberg Lettuce E. coli Outbreak 2008

28 Sickened – Several University of Colorado students from one sorority became ill with symptoms of bloody diarrhea and cramping. Additional illnesses were reported. E. coli O157:NM(H-) was determined to be the cause. Consumption of alfalfa sprouts at the Jimmy John’s Restaurants in Boulder County and Adams County were risk factors for illness. In addition, the environmental investigation identified Boulder Jimmy John’s food handlers who were infected with E. coli and who had worked while ill. The health department investigation found a number of critical food handling violations, including inadequate handwashing. The fourteen isolates from confirmed cases were a genetic match to one another.

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.

With eight with E. coli O157:H7 in Denver linked to Jimmy John’s, it might be helpful to document some of its past problems.

Multistate Jimmy John’s Restaurants Raw Clover Sprouts 2011

A total of 29 persons infected with the outbreak strain of STEC O26 have been reported from 11 states.  The number of ill persons identified in each state is as follows: Alabama (1), Arkansas (1), Iowa (5), Kansas (2), Michigan (10), Missouri (3), Ohio (3), Pennsylvania (1), Washington (1), Wisconsin (1), and West Virginia (1).  Seven ill persons have been hospitalized, and no deaths have been reported.  Preliminary traceback information has identified a common lot of clover seeds used to grow clover sprouts served at Jimmy John’s restaurant locations where ill persons ate. FDA and states conducted a traceback that identified two separate sprouting facilities; both used the same lot of seed to grow clover sprouts served at these Jimmy John’s restaurant locations. On February 10, 2012, the seed supplier initiated notification of sprouting facilities that received this lot of clover seed to stop using it. Investigations are ongoing to identify other locations that may have sold clover sprouts grown from this seed lot. http://www.cdc.gov/ecoli/2012/O26-02-12/index.html

Sprouters Northwest, Jimmy John’s Restaurants Clover Sprouts 2010

7 Sickened – Sprouters Northwest of Kent, Washington, issued a product recall after the company’s clover sprouts had been implicated in an outbreak of Salmonella Newport in Oregon and Washington. At least some of the cases had consumed clover sprouts while at a Jimmy John’s restaurants. Jimmy John’s Restaurants are a restaurant chain that sells sandwiches. Concurrent with this outbreak, a separate Salmonella outbreak (Salmonella, serotype I 4,5,12,i-; see Multistate Outbreak, Tiny Greens Organic Farm, Jimmy John’s Restaurants), involving alfalfa sprouts served at Jimmy John’s restaurants was under investigation. The recall of Northwest Sprouters products included: clover; clover & onion; spicy sprouts; and deli sprouts. The Sprouters Northwest products had been sold to grocery stores and wholesale operations in Washington, Oregon, Idaho, Alaska, British Columbia, Saskatchewan, and Alberta. The FDA inspection found serious sanitary violations. http://www.foodsafetynews.com/2011/01/jimmy-johns-will-switch-to-clover-sprouts/, http://www.oregonlive.com/business/index.ssf/2011/01/jimmy_johns_switches_to_clover.html, http://www.thepacker.com/opinion/fresh-produce-opinion/jimmy_johns_sprout_switch_remains_puzzling_122028204.html

Multistate Outbreak, Tiny Greens Organic Farm, Jimmy John’s Restaurants Alfalfa Sprouts 2010

140 Sickened – On December 17, the Illinois Department of Health announced that an investigation was underway into an outbreak of Salmonella, serotype I4, [5], 12:i: -. Many of the Illinois cases had eaten alfalfa sprouts at various Jimmy John’s restaurants in the Illinois counties of: Adams, Champaign, Cook, DuPage, Kankakee, Macon, McHenry, McLean, Peoria, and Will counties. The sprouts were suspected to be the cause of the illnesses. On December 21, Jimmy John Liautaud, the owner of the franchised restaurant chain, requested that all franchisees remove sprouts from the menu as a “precautionary” measure. On December 23, the Centers for Disease Control revealed that outbreak cases had been detected in other states and that the outbreak was linked with eating alfalfa sprouts while at a nationwide sandwich chain. On December 26, preliminary results of the investigation indicated a link to eating Tiny Greens’ Alfalfa Sprouts at Jimmy John’s restaurant outlets. The FDA subsequently advised consumers and restaurants to avoid Tiny Greens Brand Alfalfa Sprouts and Spicy Sprouts produced by Tiny Greens Organic Farm of Urbana, Illinois. The Spicy Sprouts contained alfalfa, radish and clover sprouts. On January 14, 2011, it was revealed that the FDA had isolated Salmonella serotype I4, [5], 12:i: – from a water runoff sample collected from Tiny Greens Organic Farm; the Salmonella isolated was indistinguishable from the outbreak strain. The several FDA inspections of the sprout growing facility revealed factors that likely led to contamination of the sprouts. http://www.cdc.gov/salmonella/i4512i-/122810/index.html

CW Sprouts, Inc., SunSprout Sprouts, “restaurant chain (Chain A),” a.k.a. Jimmy Johns 2009

256 Sickened – In February, Nebraska Department of Health and Human Services officials identified six isolates of Salmonella Saintpaul. Although this is a common strain of Salmonella, during 2008, only three cases had been detected in Nebraska and only four subtypes of this outbreak strain had been identified in 2008 in the entire USA. As additional reports were made, a case control study was conducted; alfalfa sprout consumption was found to be significantly related to illness. The initial tracebacks of the sprouts indicated that although the sprouts had been distributed by various companies, the sprouts from the first cases originated from the same sprouting facility in Omaha, Nebraska. Forty-two of the illnesses beginning on March 15 were attributed to sprout growing facilities in other states; these facilities had obtained seed from the same seed producer, Caudill Seed Company of Kentucky. The implicated seeds had been sold in many states. On April 26, the FDA and CDC recommended that consumers not eat raw alfalfa sprouts, including sprout blends containing alfalfa sprouts. In May, FDA alerted sprout growers and retailers that a seed supplier, Caudill Seed Company of Kentucky, was withdrawing all alfalfa seeds with a specific three-digit prefix.  Many of the illnesses occurred at “restaurant chain (Chain A).” http://www.cdc.gov/salmonella/saintpaul/alfalfa/, http://www.whas11.com/news/iteam/Salmonella-Outbreak-Linked-to-Louisville-Seed-Company-83577137.html, http://www.cdc.gov/mmwr/preview/mmwrhtml/mm5818a4.htm, See PDF linking outbreak to Jimmy John’s a.k.a. “restaurant chain (Chain A)”

Jimmy John’s Restaurant Alfalfa Sprouts and Iceberg Lettuce 2008

28 Sickened – Several University of Colorado students from one sorority became ill with symptoms of bloody diarrhea and cramping. Additional illnesses were reported. E. coli O157: NM (H-) was determined to be the cause. Consumption of alfalfa sprouts at the Jimmy John’s Restaurants in Boulder County and Adams County were risk factors for illness. In addition, the environmental investigation identified Boulder Jimmy John’s food handlers who were infected with E. coli and who had worked while ill. The health department investigation found a number of critical food handling violations, including inadequate hand washing. The fourteen isolates from confirmed cases were a genetic match to one another. http://www.thedenverchannel.com/news/17669936/detail.html

With the Ohio E. coli O157:H7 outbreak hitting 61 and likely to go higher, it might be good to take a look at the history of E. coli litigtion in the United States.

E. coli O157:H7 was identified for the first time at the CDC in 1975, but it was not until seven years later, in 1982, that E. coli O157:H7 was conclusively determined to be a cause of enteric disease. Following outbreaks of foodborne illness that involved several cases of bloody diarrhea, E. coli O157:H7 was firmly associated with hemorrhagic colitis.

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) estimated in 1999 that 73,000 cases of E. coli O157:H7 occur each year in the United States. Approximately 2,000 people are hospitalized, and 60 people die as a direct result of E. coli O157:H7 infections and complications. The majority of infections are thought to be foodborne-related, although E. coli O157:H7 accounts for less than 1% of all foodborne illness.  The CDC also estimates that non-O157 STECs (like O26, O45, 0103, O111, O121, and O145) cause another 36,700 illnesses, 1,100 hospitalizations and 30 deaths in America each year.  E. coli is the leading cause of Hemolytic Uremic Syndrome (HUS).

While the majority of foodborne illness outbreaks associated with E. coli O157:H7 have involved ground beef, such outbreaks have also involved unpasteurized apple and orange juice, unpasteurized milk, alfalfa sprouts, lettuce, spinach and water. An outbreak can also be caused by person-to-person transmission of the bacteria in homes and in settings like daycare centers, hospitals, and nursing homes. We have been involved in representing families of children who have suffered from this bacterium in the following cases:

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.

As of June 8, 2012, the CDC and various State health Departments report that there are 14 cases of Shiga toxin-producing Escherichia coli (STEC) O145 infection with indistinguishable DNA patterns that have been identified in lab samples from persons in 6 states: Alabama (2), California (1), Florida (1), Georgia (5), Louisiana (4), Tennessee (1). The dates when those people became ill range from April 15 to May 12, 2012.

Although non-O157 E. colis tended not to be tracked as frequently as their nasty cousin E. coli O157:H7, there have been some reported outbreaks according to my friends at Outbreak Database:

Jimmy John’s Restaurants Raw Clover Sprouts 2011:  On February 15, 2012, the Centers for Disease Control first announced an ongoing investigation into illnesses linked to the consumption of raw clover sprouts consumed at Jimmy John’s Restaurants in several states. The illnesses were caused by E. coli O26. By April 3, 29 cases were known. Illness onsets ranged from December 25, 2011 to March 3, 2012. Ill persons ranged in age from 9 years to 57 years old, with a median age of 26 years old. Eighty nine percent of the cases were female. No cases developed hemolytic uremic syndrome (HUS), however 7 cases were hospitalized. No deaths were reported. The FDA and the states conducted a traceback that identified two separate sprouting facilities; both used the same lot of seed to grow clover sprouts served at Jimmy John’s restaurant locations. On February 10, 2012, the seed supplier initiated notification of sprouting facilities that received this lot of clover seed to stop using it. On February 17, Jimmy John’s Restaurants announced that it was pulling sprouts from its restaurant menus.

Cargill Meat Solutions/BJ’s Wholesale Club Ground Beef 2010:  A recall of ground beef was issued on August 28 when three people developed illnesses caused by rare strain of E. coli O26 after they had eaten the product. The ground beef produced by Cargill Meat Solutions, of Pennsylvania and was distributed to BJ’s Wholesale Clubs in New York, Maine, Connecticut, Virginia, New Jersey, New Hampshire, Massachusetts, and Maryland.

Freshway Foods Romaine Lettuce 2010, non-O157 STEC:  Cases of a genetically identical strain of E. coli O145 were identified in the states of Michigan, Ohio, Tennessee, Pennsylvania, and New York. Illness onsets occurred between April 10 and 26. Several of the cases were students at Ohio State University, the University of Michigan, and Daemen College (Buffalo, New York). Several of the ill in Ann Arbor, Michigan, had eaten at a common restaurant. At least four students in the Wappinger Central School District, in New York State, were also involved in the outbreak. Shredded lettuce served in the school district tested positive for E. coli bacteria. Romaine lettuce was named as the vehicle for this outbreak, on May 6, after the same strain of E. coli O145 was found in a Freshway Foods romaine lettuce sample in New York State. Freshway Foods issued a voluntary recall of various bagged lettuces. The traceback investigation suggested that the source of the lettuce was a farm in Yuma, Arizona. In Ohio, a second, independent strain, of pathogenic E. coli was isolated from Freshway Foods bagged, shredded, romaine lettuce, E. coli O143:H34. This strain was not linked to any known food-borne illness. The isolation of the second strain of E. coli led to an additional recall of lettuce. Andrew Smith Company, of California, launched a recall of lettuce sold to Vaughan Foods and to an unidentified third firm in Massachusetts. Vaughan Foods of Moore, Oklahoma, received romaine lettuce harvested from the same farm in Yuma, Arizona; the romaine lettuce had been distributed to restaurants and food service facilities.

Country Cottage Restaurant 2008, Non-O157 STEC:  Customers eating at the Country Cottage Restaurant in Locust Grove, Oklahoma, between August 15 and August 24, 2008, became ill with E. coli O111. The exact mode of spread within the restaurant was never established, however the epidemiological analysis suggested that there had been ongoing foodborne transmission until health officials closed the restaurant on August 25. E. coli O111 was not isolated from any food or environmental surface in the restaurant. It was uncertain how the contamination entered the restaurant. Five employees had reported consistent illness symptoms prior to, or concurrent with, the outbreak. Stool samples collected from ill employees failed to show the presence of E. coli O111. A private well on the premises had been accessed and used to supply water to the restaurant just prior to the initiation of the outbreak. Water sample testing showed the presence of total and fecal coliforms. Numerous E.coli were cultured from the well water samples, but none were found to be Shiga toxin producing or typed as O111. Twenty-six persons developed hemolytic uremic syndrome, a serious kidney and blood complication of toxigenic E. coli infections.

Jefferson County Jail Pasteurized American Cheese or Margarine 2007:  An outbreak attributed to three strains of E. coli bacteria, not E. coli O157:H7, occurred at the Jefferson County Jail, in Colorado. The strains of E. coli associated with this outbreak were: O121; O26; O84. A report from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention named pasteurized, American style, cheese, or margarine, as the vehicles for this outbreak.

North Dakota Wedding Reception Held in Private Home 2007:  An outbreak of E. coli O111 occurred among attendees of a wedding reception that was held at a private home. Ground beef was the named vehicle of infection.

Strawberries or Blueberries 2006:  An outbreak of E. coli O26 occurred in Massachusetts. The vehicles were strawberries or blueberries.

Utah Wendy’s Restaurant Lettuce 2006:  Iceberg lettuce that had been prepared and served to patrons of the Wendy’s Restaurant, in Ogden, Utah, and to attendees of a catered teachers’ conference at a junior high school (CORE academy) was implicated in an outbreak of E.coli O121:H19. This is a rare strain of E. coli. Three people developed kidney failure. Lettuce was the only food that all of the sickened people had eaten. The lettuce was not available for testing after the outbreak was recognized.

DuPage County Restaurant 2005, non-O157 STEC:  Enterotoxigenic E. coli O169:H41 was implicated in 24 illnesses from a DuPage County, Illinois restaurant. The health department investigation implicated the restaurant as the likely source of the infections, however no particular food could be identified as the likely vehicle of infection.

Olive Garden Restaurant 2005, non-O157 STEC:  A Gresham, Oregon, Olive Garden was identified as the source of an E. coli O169:H41 outbreak in April. When members of two families and a case unrelated to the families were reported, the health department investigated. No one food served at the restaurant was strongly associated with an increased risk of illness. It was suspected that a food worker had contaminated the food.

New York State Apple Cider 2004, Non-O157 STEC:  Direct sales of fresh pressed apple cider from an orchard in New York State led to outbreaks of E. coli 0111 and Cryptosporidium parvum. The facility qualified as a retail establishment and was exempt from HACCP regulations.