Listeria: Santa Martha Queso y Crema Recall

Sixteen types of Lacteos Santa Martha crema and queso is under U.S. government recall in connection with listeriosis illnesses from the food poisoning pathogen Listeria monocytogenes. The cheese and cream recall published by the Food and Drug Administration doesn't specify how many people have been sickened or where they live. But the recalled products were distributed in Florida, Georgia, Tennessee and North Carolina from April 1st thought October 14.

For a listing of recalled products, click here. If you or a loved one was sickened in this outbreak, you may want to contact a lawyer to represent you. Legal case consultations are free from our Listeria lawyers at the PritzkerOlsen attorney group. Click here to contact an attorney. Our firm has collected millions of dollars for Listeria outbreak victims and we are one of the very few legal groups in the U.S. practicing extensively in the area of foodborne illness. 

Oasis Brands Inc. of Miami makes Lacteos Santa Martha queso and crema. The Lacteos Santa Martha recall marks at least the second time this year that federal regulators have acted to stop an outbreak of listeriosis associated with latin-style soft cheese or cream. In February, March and April, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention provided public updates on Listeria monocytogenes findings in Roos Foods products that the agency linked to an outbreak of eight confirmed illnesses, including one death, two mother-newborn pairs and a newborn. The feds halted production at Roos Foods as part of that investigation.

As the Roos Foods outbreak showed, pregnant women are especially vulnerable to Listeria infection. Symptoms of listeriosis vary, but usually involve fever and muscle aches, sometimes preceded by diarrhea. Infections tend to be invasive and others who are at risk for serious illness are older adults, young children and people who have suppressed or weakened immune systems.

About 800 laboratory-confirmed cases of listeriosis are reported each year in the United States, and typically 3 or 4 outbreaks are identified and reported to CDC annually. Some foods that have been linked to outbreaks in recent years include several types of cheeses, including Mexican-style cheeses and creams.

FDA Inspection Report Provides Basis for Almond Butter Salmonella Lawsuit

 Any Salmonella almond butter lawsuit to be filed in connection with a national outbreak of salmonellosis will seize on the inspection report of a team of FDA food safety experts who looked closely at the plant operations of nSpired Natural Foods, a division of Hain Celestial Group. The five inspectors reported a list of "inspectional observations'' in a document collected by food poisoning attorneys at PritzkerOlsen P.A. Included in the FDA report was an observation of "Failure to manufacture foods under conditions and controls necessary to minimize the potential for growth of microorganisms and contamination.''

The top observation was that Salmonella was found beneath two separate cooling towers in the Ashland, Oregon, plant that are used to cool heated nuts. 

Food lawsuits filed by the Bad Bug Law Team at PritzkerOlsen have held food manufacturers accountable for selling products tainted by pathogens, including Salmonella. Litigation by our firm has won tens of millions for clients who have been sickened in traceable outbreaks of food poisoning. The link between the MaraNatha brand of almond butter and an outbreak of Salmonella Braenderup was announced this summer by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). Our law firm is concerned that some consumers aren't aware of the August 19 recall that went along with the outbreak finding. The recalled almond butters produced at the MaraNatha nut butters plant don't expire in many cases until mid-2015 and could be sitting in home pantries, still making people dangerously sick. Here's the complete almond butter recall notice

According to the FDA report, inspectors listed eight observations that ranged from inadequate hand-washing by an employee who was handling almonds to hard-to-clean floors that were cracked and dented. The inspectors also noted nut-handling equipment that was cracked or contained rough welds where pathogens could harbor and grow. The observations don't represent a final FDA determination of non-compliance.  

E. coli and Hemolytic Uremic Syndrome in Kentucky Possibly Caused by Raw Milk

Raw milk again? Five children in Kentucky have been diagnosed with E. coli O157 infections. Four of them are in the hospital with Hemolytic Uremic Syndrome (HUS) , a disease caused toxins produced by E. coli O157 bacteria. The toxins are called Shigatoxins, and they cause tiny clots in the kidneys. The result is often kidney failure. Little children have strokes and die from HUS kidney failure.

"Raw milk products are unsafe because they are not pasteurized, a process that heats the milk to a temperature high enough to kill E. coli and other deadly pathogens," said Fred Pritzker, a food safety attorney who has won millions for clients sickened by raw milk.

The Kentucky Department for Public Health is not saying unequivocally that the source of the outbreak is raw milk, but all 5 of the children drank raw milk before they got sick.

Additional tests are being done. 

The sale of raw milk products is illegal in Kentucky because it can harbor dangerous pathogens like E. coli O157 that can cause serious illness and death.

Attorney Fred Pritzker and his Bad Bug Law Team help families whose children are sickened by E. coli food poisoning. You can click here now to contact Fred and his team.

Durand High School Campylobacter Outbreak, Attorneys Investigating

The most recent numbers in the Campylobacter outbreak in Durand, Wisconsin, are as follows:

  • 8 confirmed Campylobacter infections in students at Durand High School
  • 50 students with symptoms consistent with a Campylocater infection.

Our attorneys are investigating the Campylobacter outbreak that has swept through Durand High School.

“Most Campylobacter food poisoning cases are caused by contaminated poultry products, primarily chicken,” said Fred Pritzker, a national food litigation attorney who has won millions for victims of Campylobacter food poisoning (campylobacteriosis). “We are also seeing more cases linked to raw milk products, but that is unlikely in this outbreak. Campylobacter is an extremely dangerous pathogen that can cause Guillain-Barré Syndrome, a disease that affects the nervous system, causing temporary or permanent paralysis.”

The investigation involves testing students to determine if they have Campylobacter infections and testing food and lunchroom surfaces (countertops, equipment, etc.) for Campylobacter bacteria. If Campylobacter is found in food or environmental samples, further testing will be done on isolates to see if the bacteria has the same genetic fingerprint as the bacteria that sickened the children. This testing is called Pulsed-Field Gel Electrophoresis (PFGE).

"PFGE testing is evidence that can be used to connect illnesses to a food source," said Fred. He and his Bad Bug Law Team are some of the few attorneys in the nation who use this kind of evidence to win settlements for food poisoning victims.

You can click here now to contact Fred and his team for your free consultation regarding your child’s illness.

North Carolina Legionella Investigation

Legionnaire's Disease lawyers in our firm are investigating an outbreak of LD in the Winston-Salem area of North Carolina, including confirmed cases at Oak Forest Health and Rehabilitation. A seventh resident of that particular center was announced this month by the Forsyth County Public Health Department as a victim of the outbreak, which started in June and July. This Legionnaire's Disease outbreak has persisted despite control measures worked out with county and state help. The PritzkerOlsen law firm represents Legionnaire's outbreak victims and is providing free case consultations to families who are dealing with this potentially fatal disease. Click here to contact an attorney who knows how to pursue full compensation.

The initial Forsyth County announcement of the Oak Forest Legionnaire's Disease outbreak said the health care facility would be consulting with an engineering company to conduct a thorough environmental assessment of the water system. Legionnaire's patients often contract the disease from inhaling mist or water vapor contaminated with legionella bacteria, which causes a severe form of pneumonia. Symptoms include high fever, chills, cough, body aches, headache and fatigue. The disease typically begins 2-10 days after exposure to the bacteria. Antibiotics can be effective for most patients, but infections can become deadly for older adults and other people who suffer from weakened immune systems from cancer, kidney failure, diabetes or other reason. Smokers, people with chronic lung problems and former smokers also are at higher risk for severe illness.

In North Carolina this year, the state health department has recorded 83 LD cases statewide, including 20 in Forsyth County. At least one of the other county cases was an infection suffered by a patient at Wake Forest Baptist Medical Center. Statewide this year, six people have died from Legionnaire's Disease.

Attorney Fred Pritzker said outbreaks of LD are preventable and he has sued building owners in past outbreaks to hold them accountable for making people sick with contaminated water systems. Hospitals and health care centers are keenly aware of the risks and most facilities are vigilant with water treatment to keep patients safe. Pritzker said building owners are required to take measures to prevent the growth of the bacteria that causes the illness.People sickened by Legionnaires’ Disease have the right to sue for the harm done to them from this illness. These lawsuits are important because they hold building owners accountable and prevent problems from lingering.

E. coli HUS strikes children in Kentucky

Four children in Kentucky have been hospitalized with E. coli HUS, including kidney failure, as part of an outbreak of E. coli that also has sickened two other children. The Kentucky Cabinet for Health and Family Services is investigating and has determined that the affected children range in age from 18 months to six years old. HUS, or hemolytic uremic syndrome, is a life-threatening disease that can strike a person of any age, but infants, toddlers and young children are most at risk for developing the complication when exposed to any type of E. coli that emits potent Shiga toxins. Food poisoning is a common cause of outbreaks, but the E. coli bug also crops up in groups of children from petting zoos. Your child has the right to sue in either case.

Attorneys at the PritzkerOlsen law firm have helped many children with HUS E. coli  get compensation and justice. The firm has begun its own investigation of the Kentucky outbreak and is providing free case consultations to the affected families. You can click here to contact our lawyers now. The cases at hand in Kentucky include a pair of siblings and two other children from Hardin County, one child from Oldham County and one child from Boone County. A case from Nelson county was also recently reported but is not believed to be part of the outbreak. State health officials are awaiting test results that will confirm if the cases are linked. At this point, the cases are believed to be associated based on “time and place” of possible exposure.

The Kentucky Cabinet for Health and Family Services is based in Frankfort. One of the agency's key tools used to investigate outbreaks is a program of Epidemiology Rapid Response Teams. These teams are deployed to get answers about outbreaks before they spread to other people. "The Epi Rapid Responders are a small group of multi-disciplinary investigators who mount immediate, comprehensive response to reports of disease outbreaks,'' the health department said. "Teams ordinarily include a nurse, environmentalist and epidemiologist at the local health department level.'' 

Chicago Restaurant Salmonella Cases

 An epidemiologist with the Chicago Department of Public Health has confirmed a Salmonella outbreak at Esencia Urban Kitchen in Chicago. Alicia Siston, an official with the department's Communicable Disease Program, told Food Poisoning Bulletin that at least five people who ate at the restaurant were sickened. Those who became ill reported eating at the restaurant on August 13 and August 14, she said. The ongoing investigation includes additional interviews and testing food handlers who work there, Siston said.

“We have inspected the restaurant to ensure it meets health code standards,'' she said. "The restaurant is cooperating with the investigation.” 

The public health probe at Esencia, a cafe and restaurant that serves many Mexican dishes from its location on North Broadway Street, has not pinpointed the cause of the Salmonella outbreak. But patrons whose illnesses were confirmed can potentially hold the restaurant liable under U.S. food poisoning law. While it is always best if contaminated food can be found at the restaurant, it is not necessary for a restaurant Salmonella food poisoning lawsuit. The liability of the restaurant can be proven through epidemiology and microbiological tests of outbreak victims if the outbreak has been linked to the restaurant by public health investigators.

Our law firm recently filed a restaurant food poisoning lawsuit against Applebee's restaurants in Minnesota for an outbreak that sickened at least 17 people. That suit is pending in U.S. District Court and there are indications from health officials that it was caused by an ingredient in salad. While most healthy adults withstand the severe diarrhea, stomach pain, fever and other symptoms that come with salmonellosis,  others are hospitalized and face the risk of advanced complications, including prolonged infection, chronic arthritis and death. No deaths have been reported with the current outbreak at Esencia Urban Kitchen. 

Salmonella is the most common bacterial cause of foodborne outbreaks in the United States, sickening about 1.2 million Americans each year. Approximately half of all Salmonella outbreaks occur in restaurant settings. For a free case consultation, please click here to contact a Salmonella lawyer at our firm.

Ropelato Dairy Raw Milk Linked to Campylobacter Illnesses in Utah

Our lawyers are investigating an outbreak of Campylobacter food poisoning linked to drinking raw milk purchased at Ropelato Dairy in Weber County, Utah. To date, 45 cases of illness have been reported from the following counties: Cache, Davis, Morgan, Salt Lake, Utah and Weber. There are also 2 reported cases in California and Idaho.

People over 60 are at higher risk of having severe complications from a Campylobacter infection. We had one client who was paralyzed from the neck down. He drank raw milk that was contaminated with Campylobacter bacteria, fell ill a few days later and then developed Guillain-Barre Syndrome (GBS), which caused the paralysis.

Attorneys Fred Pritzker and Brendan Flaherty were the lead lawyers for that case. You can call 1-888-377-8900 to contact them about food poisoning from raw milk.

 

Raw Milk Can Cause Campylobacter Food Poisoning

 

Onset dates of the 45 people sickened range from May 9, 2014 to July 21, 2014. The cases range in age from two to 74 years. 

Evidence Linking Ropelato Dairy to the Campylobacter Illnesses

All 45 cases reported drinking raw milk from Ropelato Dairy in Weber County in the week before onset of illness. Tests done by the Utah Department of Agriculture on raw milk samples at the dairy were positive for Campylobacter. This is solid evidence linking the illnesses to raw milk from the dairy.

Peanut Butter Salmonella Lawsuit Expected

U.S. public health experts fear that organic peanut butter contaminated with Salmonella is sitting in home pantries, potentially widening an outbreak of disease that has been confirmed through the most comprehensive type of  genetic fingerprinting of bacteria. A past peanut butter Salmonella outbreak that began in 2008 resulted in deaths and lawsuits, concluding with millions of dollars in insurance liability money paid to victims of the outbreak.

Now a peanut butter Salmonella lawsuit against nSpired Natural Foods Inc. could be in store based on scientific evidence from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) that almond and peanut butter made by nSpired is the likely source of an outbreak new on the CDC food poisoning radar. So far, only four case patients have been identified, including one person who was hospitalized. But those cases are widespread and the system is poised to quickly detect any new cases that crop up over the next several months. "The recalled peanut and almond butter products have a long shelf life and may still be in people’s homes, and illnesses may continue to be reported,'' the CDC said. 

Contact a Salmonella attorney if you or a loved one has been sickened by any of the brands of organic peanut butter or almond butter manufactured and recalled by nSpired. The PritzkerOlsen law firm represents victims of food poisoning outbreaks. We represented clients in the 2008 peanut butter Salmonella outbreak linked to Peanut Corp. of America, including two families who had loved ones who died in the outbreak. That litigation was watched around the world.

The U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) isolated Salmonella Braenderup from environmental samples collected from an nSpired Natural Foods facility during routine inspections in January and July 2014, the CDC said. Whole genome sequencing of the bacteria matched Salmonella infections in four people, one each in Iowa, Texas, Connecticut and Tennessee. On August 19, 2014, nSpired Natural Foods, Inc. voluntarily recalled certain lots of almond and peanut butters because of potential contamination with Salmonella. The recalled brands include Arrowhead Mills, MaraNatha, Trader Joe’s, Whole Foods, Safeway, and Kroger. Click here for a complete listing of recalled peanut butter and almond butter. 

Applebees E. coli Cases Stand at 15

 One month after the Minnesota Department of Health associated Applebees restaurants in the state with an outbreak of E. coli O111, the number of publicly announced illnesses stands at 15. The latest press release from the agency said anyone who visited a Minnesota Applebee’s since June 20 and had symptoms of E. coli O111 infection (particularly bloody diarrhea) should contact their health care provider  and inform them of their possible involvement in the outbreak. If you are a confirmed case patient who wants to pursue a legal claim against Applebees, contact E. coli lawyers Fred Pritzker, Brendan Flaherty or Ryan Osterholm at the PritzkerOlsen law firm.

That trio of attorneys filed the first E. coli lawsuit in connection with the Minnesota outbreak linked to Applebee's and they have continued to take on additional clients. The lawsuit in U.S. District Court for the District of Minnesota (case 0:14-cv-02907) was filed on behalf of Keith Comstock, who was diagnosed with an E. coli O111 infection after eating at the Applebee’s restaurant in Woodbury, Minnesota, near his home. He ate Oriental Chicken Salad and Applebee's temporarily removed that item from its Minnesota menus during the height of the outbreak investigation. They have since switched suppliers for certain ingredients in that dish and returned it to the menu.

E. coli O111 is a highly toxic foodborne pathogen and Mr. Comstock was sick for weeks. As the lawsuit against Applebees will explain, E. coli infections of this type also present long-term health risks ranging from kidney impairment, severe high blood pressure and other internal dysfunction. In that regard, the Applebees suit will he lawsuit seeks compensation for Mr. Comstock for medical expenses, pain and suffering, lost wages and other damages for both now and the future. PrizkerOlsen is a national food safety law firm with offices in Minneapolis, Minnesota. Attorneys for the firm have won millions for food poisoning victims in personal injury and wrongful death lawsuits against restaurants, food processors and others.

As a result of Minnesota's scientific investigation into the outbreak, laboratory analysis found that the outbreak strain of E. coli O111 has not previously been detected in the United States. Minnesota Health Department officials have worked with Applebee’s, the Minnesota Department of Agriculture, and other regulatory partners to determine the precise cause of the outbreak. But even if the cause is not pinpointed, Applebees will continue to be linked to the illnesses.