Minnesota Listeria lawyer Fred Pritzker and his Bad Bug Law Team are investigating two Listeria deaths and an outbreak of Listeria linked to store-purchased caramel apples. Pritzker's office is joining state and federal health officials in warning consumers to avoid any pre-packaged, commercially-produced caramel apples. This includes caramel apples with other toppings such as nuts, chocolate, and sprinkles. Do not eat them until more information from the investigation becomes available. If you have any in your home, discard them or seal them and mark them as poisonous.
"We'll do anything we can to bring awareness to this outbreak,'' said Pritzker, whose firm has spent decades representing victims of Listeria and other human pathogens found in food. "This is obviously a very significant and dangerous breach of food safety.''
So far, four Minnesota cases have been confirmed in people who purchased caramel apples from Cub Foods, Kwik Trip, and Mike's Discount Foods. These carmel apples carried Carnival brand and Kitchen Cravings brand names. These two brands are no longer available for purchase at retail locations; however, health officials are concerned that persons who purchased them may still have them in their homes. "The investigation is evolving, and other caramel apple brands and locations may also be impacted,'' the Minnesota Department of Health said in a press release.
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention also is working on the case. So far, all known victims were adults ages 59 to 90 years. They became ill in late October and November. All were hospitalized and two of them died. Listeria monocytogenes is a dangerous bacteria because it can hide in many different foods and grow even when refrigerated. Ninety percent of its victims fall into four groups: Pregnant, infant, over 65 or immuno-compromised. Women who become infected by Listeria when they are pregnant run the risk of miscarriage and potential damage to their reproductive system.
If you or a loved one have recently become ill after eating a commercially produced carmel apple, immediately report to a medical clinic for examination by a physician. Symptoms can take weeks to develop, sometimes as long as 70 days. Case patients can experience fever, muscle aches, headache, stiff neck, confusion, loss of balance, and convulsions. Infected pregnant women may experience only a mild, flu-like illness.
If you have been confirmed as a victim of this outbreak and need legal representation, contact the PritzkerOlsen law firm for a free case consultation. Our group of lawyers, based in Minneapolis, practices extensively in the area of foodborne illness litigation and have recovered millions of dollars for Listeria victims and for families who have lost loved ones to listeriosis.