Salmonella Legal Cases

The Chapel Hill Creamery in Chapel Hill, NC, is recalling all of its cheese products because they have been linked to a growing Salmonella outbreak in North Carolina and elsewhere.

A local county health officer said Thursday that the outbreak has sickened at least 50 people in North Carolina and about the same number in other states, and that it’s the same strain found in samples of raw milk from the Chapel Hill Creamery. Nine of those sickened in North Carolina have been hospitalized so far.

The products being recalled include all codes, packages and sizes of 14 varieties of cheese manufactured by the Chapel Hill Creamery and distributed through retail locations, farmers markets and restaurants throughout North Carolina, Tennessee, South Carolina, Virginia and Georgia.

The cheese varieties are: Quark, Danziger, Swiss, Paneer, Calvander, Hot Farmers Cheese, Dairyland Farmers Cheese, Smoked Mozzarella, Fresh Mozzarella, Burrata, Hickory Grove, Carolina Moon, Smoked Farmers Cheese, New Moon, and Pheta.

North Carolina Department of Health and Human Services reports tonight that 216 people have developed a Salmonella infection linked to Tarheel Q restaurant in Lexington, North Carolina.

Case distribution includes 15 North Carolina counties and 5 states. Of the North Carolina cases 77% of cases are residents of Davidson County and Davie County.

Laboratory testing indicates that the BBQ sample and a sample from a patient who became ill during the beginning of the outbreak are both positive for Salmonella species. The serogroup was found to be Typhimurium. Both samples have the same PFGE pattern (i.e. DNA fingerprint).

Over 20 additional clinical specimens are pending results at the state lab.

Of these 216 cases:

56% are male

43% are between the ages of 20 and 49

20% have visited their provider

12% have visited the ED

6% have been hospitalized

No deaths due to Salmonella infection have been identified

82% of cases had illness onset dates between Tuesday, June 16, 2015, and Sunday, June 21, 2015.

In June 2104 Cook County Department of Public Health (CCDPH) and the Illinois Department of Public Health (IDPH) investigated an outbreak of Salmonella Typhimurium among persons who had consumed chicken or deli products from Jewel Osco, a grocery store located in Tinley Park, Illinois.  In total 19 case patients were identified.  Fourteen patients were laboratory confirmed with Salmonella Typhimurium, five patients were considered to be “probable” cases. Dates of illness onset ranged from May 9 to June 11. Two additional case-patients who were laboratory confirmed with Salmonella Typhimurium were identified with symptom on June 15 and June 25. They both had exposure to a previously identified household member will illness associated with this outbreak. Eight outbreak associated case patients required hospitalization and three others visited their physician’s office.

Genetic testing by Pulsed Field Gel Electrophoresis (PFGE) of isolates cultured from stool specimens submitted by case patients was performed by the Illinois Department of Public Health Laboratory.  The outbreak strain was identified as PulseNet Pattern Identification Number JPXX01.0324.

Environmental health staff from CCDPH and the Tinley Park Village Inspector conducted an on-site investigation at the Jewel Osco deli on June 11, 2014.  The deli was closed for six hours for cleaning and disinfection. All food items were discarded.  Food handlers were excluded from work pending negative stool screening tests for Salmonella. Two food handlers were positive for Salmonella Typhimurium strain JPXX01.0324.  No leftover foods from the deli or from homes of case-patients were tested.

CCDPH concluded that an outbreak of Salmonella Typhimurium JPXX01.0324 occurred at Jewel Osco deli. Outbreak associated cases consumed deli products or chicken from the store. After the June 11 intervention by health officials, no other cases were reported.

Marler Clark represents three victims.

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.

Between January and July 2014 public health officials in the United States and Canada investigated an outbreak of Salmonella linked to consumption of organic sprouted chia seeds or chia powder.  The initial outbreak investigation used PulseNet data to identify a cluster of 12 persons infected with a strain of Salmonella Newport that had never been seen before in PulseNet. Through a collaborative investigation with the Public Health Agency of Canada (PHAC), the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) identified a second cluster of patients with a strain of Salmonella Hartford also not seen previously in PulseNet. A third serotype isolated in patients, Salmonella Oranienburg, was also suspected of being associated with chia powder. Canadian public health officials identified a fourth serotype in outbreak associated patients, Salmonella Stainpaul.  A fifth serotype, Salmonella Saintpaul, was isolated in patients in Canada but not in the United States.

Early in the investigation, 21 ill persons answered questions about foods eaten and other exposures in the week before becoming ill.  Nineteen (90%) of them reported eating chia seeds or powder.  Fifteen (79%) of 19 persons who identified the type of chia product consumed reported eating chia powder specifically.  Traceback of the products reported by ill persons identified Bioessential Botanicals, a Canadian firm, as a common supplier of organic sprouted chia powder used in these products.  Laboratory testing conducted by state public health laboratories in California, Connecticut, Massachusetts, New York, Utah, Washington, and Wisconsin as well as by federal laboratories in the United States (FDA) and Canada (Canadian Food Inspection Agency) isolated outbreak strains of Salmonella Newport, Salmonella Hartford, and Salmonella Oranienburg in opened and unopened products containing chia powder.  One or more of the outbreak strains was isolated in samples of Navitas Naturals products. Additionally, FDA laboratory sampling identified one sample of Organic Traditions Sprouted Chia Seed Powder containing Salmonella Gaminara.  There did not appear to be any human cases of Salmonella Gaminara linked to this outbreak.

These findings prompted several recalls of multiple products containing chia seed and chia powder in the U.S. and Canada.  On May 28, 2014 Navitas Naturals recalled products containing sprouted chia powder.  The recalled products included Navitas Naturals Organic Sprouted Chia Powder, Navitas Naturals Omega Blend Sprouted Smoothie Mix, and Williams-Sonoma Omega 3 Smoothie Mixer. On May 30, 2014 the Canadian Food Inspection Agency (CFIA) notified consumers that Advantage Health Matters and Back 2 the Garden recalled various products containing sprouted chia seed powder. These products were sold under the brand names Organic Traditions and Back 2 the Garden.  CFIA expanded the recall several times throughout June 2014 to include Harmonic Arts Botanical Dispensary, Intuitive Path Superfoods, and Nourish Inc. On June 11, 2014 the FDA placed Bioessential Botanicals on import alert, thereby prohibiting entry of shipments of chia seed and chia powder into the United States.

United States Outbreak

A total of 31 persons infected with the outbreak strains of Salmonella Newport (20 persons), Salmonella Hartford (7 persons), or Salmonella Oranienburg (4 persons) were reported from 16 states. Five ill persons were hospitalized.  There were no deaths. Illness onset dates ranged from January 21, 2014 to July 22, 2014. The investigation of an outbreak of salmonellosis linked to consumption of chia seeds or chia powder was closed on August 14, 2014.

Canadian Outbreak

Illness in 63 persons in Canada was attributed to consumption of chia seeds or chia powder.  In Canada four outbreak strains of Salmonella Newport, Salmonella Hartford, Salmonella Oranienburg, and Salmonella Saintpaul were isolated.  Ill persons resided in 4 provinces – Alberta (10 cases), British Columbia (14 cases), Ontario (35 cases) and Quebec (4 cases).  In Canadian patients, dates of illness onsets ranged from December 1, 2013 to June 22, 2014. Twelve case-patients were hospitalized. No deaths were reported. On August 13, 2014 the investigation in Canada was declared closed.

Marler Clark represents several individuals and families and has filed two lawsuits.

State health and agriculture officials said today that six recent cases of salmonellosis in Minnesota have been linked to raw, frozen, breaded and pre-browned, stuffed chicken entrees. The implicated product is Antioch Farms brand A La Kiev raw stuffed chicken breast with a U.S. Department of Agriculture stamped code of P-1358. This product is sold at many different grocery store chains.  Marler Clark has been retained by the family of a 14-year-old victim.

Investigators from the Minnesota Department of Health (MDH) and the Minnesota Department of Agriculture (MDA) determined that six cases of Salmonella infection from August and September 2014 were due to the same strain of Salmonella Enteritidis. One person was hospitalized for their illness.

There have been six outbreaks of salmonellosis in Minnesota linked to these types of products from 1998 through 2008. This is the first outbreak since improvements were made in 2008 to the labeling of these products.

Aspen Foods Division of Koch Meats, a Chicago, Il., based establishment, is recalling 28,980 pounds of chicken products that may be contaminated with a particular strain of Salmonella Enteritidis, the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s Food Safety and Inspection Service (FSIS) announced today. FSIS requested Aspen Foods conduct this recall because this product is known to be associated with a specific illness cluster.

The recalled product includes partially prepared chicken products sold by retailers under the Antioch Farms brand name, with “sell by” dates of October 1, 2015 and October 7, 2015. The products subject to recall bear the establishment number “P-1358” inside the USDA mark of inspection. The chicken products were produced on July 2, 2014 and July 8, 2014. These products were shipped to retail stores and distribution centers in Minnesota.

The product is identified as:

• Single 5 once plastic packets of Raw Stuffed Chicken Breast Breaded, Boneless Breast of Chicken with Rib Meat “A La Kiev”

As of July 14, 2014, a total of 25 ill persons infected with the outbreak strains of Salmonella Newport (16 persons), Salmonella Hartford (7 persons), or Salmonella Oranienburg (2 persons) have been reported from 15 states. The number of ill persons identified in each state is as follows: Arizona (1), California (3), Colorado (1), Connecticut (3), Florida (1), Massachusetts (1), Michigan (1), New York (5), Ohio (1), Rhode Island (1), Texas (2), Utah (1), Washington (1), and Wisconsin (3).

Three ill persons have been hospitalized. No deaths have been reported.

Collaborative investigation efforts of state, local, and federal public health and regulatory agencies indicate that organic sprouted chia powder is the likely source of this outbreak.

Sprouted chia powder is made from chia seeds that are sprouted, dried, and ground.

As a result of this investigation, several recalls of products containing organic sprouted chia powder and chia seeds have been issued.

The Public Health Agency of Canada continues to investigate similar cases of Salmonella infection in several Canadian provinces. In Canada, four strains of Salmonella causing illness have been associated with this outbreak: Salmonella Newport and Salmonella Hartford, Salmonella Oranienburg, and Salmonella Saintpaul. In total, 59 cases have been reported in British Columbia (13), Alberta (10), Ontario (33) and Quebec (3). Nine cases have been hospitalized; seven cases have been discharged and have recovered or are recovering. The status of two cases has not been provided to the Agency. No deaths have been reported. The investigation is ongoing but currently, 43 of 51 cases that have been interviewed have reported consumption of chia seeds or sprouted chia seed powder.

Several Canadian companies have recalled products containing sprouted chia powder or chia seeds.

Lynne Terry reports that the Foster Farms plant that was closed by the U.S. Department of Agriculture over unsanitary conditions has reopened.

The USDA gave the company the go-ahead to resume production Saturday at its Livingston, Calif., following treatment for cockroaches and other pests. The USDA closed the plant on Wednesday after the fifth sighting of the insects in the plant in five months.

The facility is one of three implicated in a nationwide salmonella outbreak that’s sickened more than 400 people. The USDA threatened to close all three plants in October, citing high salmonella rates, but backed down when Foster Farms promised to enact tighter food safety controls.

The USDA said in its suspension notice that Foster Farms would only be allowed to open the facility when it came up with a plan to eliminate the cockroaches and ensure they stay out of the facility. The USDA said the plan would need to identify the source of the problem and include a pest-control program and monitoring.

On or about June 25, 2013, the Harris County Public Health & Environmental Services investigated a report of illness at Iguana Joes.  Iguana Joes was temporarily shut down due to “continued critical violations that put the public’s health at risk.”  The Harris County Public Health & Environmental Services linked a dozen people sick with Salmonella with seven being children.  The Harris County Public Health & Environmental Services found 27 violations in 1 inspection. Inspectors went back the next day and found another 29 violations. Two days later, they returned and recorded 24 violations and discarded 45 pounds of food. Harris County Public Health & Environmental Services returned the next day and identified another 27 violations.  Iguana Joes was then closed.

On or about June 18, 2013, Plaintiffs consumed a variety of food at Iguana Joes.  On or about June 21, 2013, Jalen became fussy and suffered a loss of appetite.  Later that day, and for the next several days, he became quite ill with a fever and diarrhea.  Justin and Regina cared for their son, keeping him as comfortable as possible and hydrated.  After a week of illness, his pediatrician, who ordered a stool culture, which eventually returned positive for Salmonella, saw Jalen.  Jalen continued to be ill over the next week as his parents continued to care for him.

Collaborative investigation efforts of state, local, and federal public health and regulatory agencies indicate that mangoes are a likely source of this outbreak.

On August 29, Splendid Products of Burlingame, California issued a voluntary recall of certain lots of Daniella brand mangoes because they may be contaminated with Salmonella bacteria.

On September 13, FDA placed Agricola Daniella on Import Alert. This means that Agricola Daniella mangoes will be denied admission into the United States unless the importer shows they are not contaminated with Salmonella, such as by using private laboratories to test the mangoes.

A total of 121 persons infected with the outbreak strain of Salmonella Braenderup have been reported from 15 states.

The number of ill persons identified in each state is as follows: California (93), Delaware (1), Hawaii (4), Idaho (1), Illinois (2), Maine (1), Michigan (1), Montana (1), Nebraska (1), New Jersey (1), New York (3), Oregon (1), Texas (2), Washington (8), and Wisconsin (1).

25 ill persons have been hospitalized. No deaths have been reported.

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.

Today the FDA and CDC announced that cantaloupe collected from Chamberlain Farms Produce, Inc., based in Owensville, Indiana, has tested positive for the Salmonella Typhimurium outbreak strain that has so far sickened 178 people from 21 states. The number of ill persons identified in each state is as follows: Alabama (13), Arkansas (3), California (2), Georgia (3), Illinois (21), Indiana (18), Iowa (7), Kentucky (56), Massachusetts (2), Michigan (6), Minnesota (4), Mississippi (5), Missouri (12), New Jersey (2), North Carolina (3), Ohio (4), Pennsylvania (2), South Carolina (3), Tennessee (6), Texas (2), and Wisconsin (4). 62 ill persons have been hospitalized. Two deaths have been reported in Kentucky.

FDA investigators were at the farm from August 14 to August 16 collecting samples from surface areas and from cantaloupe. So far joint investigations by state, local, and federal authorities point to cantaloupe from Chamberlain Farms as a source of the outbreak. According to earlier reports, officials were exploring other possible sources and whether other types of melon were involved. Earlier in the investigation, tests by Kentucky’s state public health lab found the outbreak strain in samples from two cantaloupes collected from a retail location. (see, past Cantaloupe Outbreaks)