Raul Rivera will be buried Saturday (6/7/08) in Houston. His family is telling Houston television stations tonight that Mr. Rivera is the first death in the Salmonella Saintpaul outbreak.
Rivera was battling cancer, specifically lymphoma, and more recently his insurance company. He’d just won with the insurance company, allowing payments for new treatment that was bring up his white blood cell count.
The family celebrated by going out to a Mexican restaurant where five of seven at the table ate pico de gallo. All who did, including Mr. Rivera, got sick. The family doctor says it was Salmonella, but local health officials have not yet determined for certain whether the rare Saintpaul strain is to blame.
The Rivera Family went on television with their story because they want to warn others.
"You just need to be aware," said grandson Corey Lazar. "You never know and we never thought a tomato with salmonella would put us in the situation where we are right now."