Tag Archives salmonella

Food litigator William Marler has filed a second lawsuit against the Peanut Corp. of America (PCA) on behalf of a California family whose 3-year-old son allegedly fell ill and was hospitalized after eating Salmonella-contaminated peanut butter cracker sandwiches made with a PCA peanut butter product. Trone v. Peanut Corp. of Am., No. 09-418 (N.D. Cal., filed January 28, 2009). The outbreak, which has reportedly sickened more than 500 people across the United States and contributed to eight deaths, has led to one of the largest food recalls in the nation’s history. PCA expanded its recall from peanut butter and peanut paste to all peanuts and peanut products, including whole peanuts (dried, roasted or raw), granulated peanuts and peanut meal, processed in its Blakely, Georgia, facility since January 1, 2007. According to the PCA recall notice, the company sold its recalled products to institutions, food service industries and private label food companies in…

With hundreds of foods containing potentially contaminated peanut butter being recalled daily, plaintiffs’ lawyers across the nation have begun to file claims against producers, suppliers, retailers, and others in the supply chain. Food claims lawyer William Marler has reportedly brought an action against the Virginia-based Peanut Corp. of America on behalf of Vermont residents Gabrielle and Daryl Meunier whose 7-year-old son was among the nearly 500 people purportedly sickened by the Salmonella typhimurium traced to a Peanut Corp. processing plant in Georgia. According to a news source, the Meunier’s son spent six days in the hospital after consuming cheese and peanut butter crackers. A Minnesota-based food safety lawyer reportedly plans to file a claim against Peanut Corp. and its distributor, King Nut Companies, on behalf of the family of a 72-year-old woman who allegedly died in December 2008 after eating Salmonella-contaminated peanut butter served at a long-term care facility in Minnesota. In…

The U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) and Food and Drug Administration (FDA) are reportedly investigating a Salmonella typhimurium outbreak implicating King Nut and Parnell’s Pride brand peanut butters manufactured by the Peanut Corporation of America (Peanut Corp.) and sold to non-retail food establishments. Health departments have purportedly linked the outbreak to more than 400 illnesses and possibly five fatalities, prompting Peanut Corp. to issue a voluntary recall for 21 lots of peanut butter produced since July 1, 2008, at its Blakely, Georgia, facility. In addition, Kellogg Co. has since issued recalls for its Austin and Keebler brand peanut butter crackers as a precautionary measure. See King Nut Press Release, January 12, 2009; Law 360 and Health Day Reporter, January 13, 2009; Kellogg Co. Press Release, January 14, 2009; The Associated Press and The Wall Street Journal, January 15, 2009. Meanwhile, plaintiffs’ lawyers have apparently cited the incident in urging stricter…

Del Monte Fresh Produce N.A., Inc. has sued the Food and Drug Administration (FDA), seeking a declaration that the agency has “engaged in a pattern or practice that constitutes agency action unlawfully withheld or unreasonably delayed” in connection with several cantaloupe shipments from Guatemala. Del Monte Fresh Produce N.A., Inc. v. U.S., No. 08-02161 (D.D.C., filed December 11, 1008). According to the complaint, the FDA denied release of the shipments until it completed testing for salmonella. The FDA has purportedly failed to respond to company requests for expedited testing and has yet to release the fruit, which is “overripening” and will cost the company more than $4.5 million in losses. A 10-day hold in 2007 allegedly cost the company almost $1 million. Del Monte claims that independent tests have failed to show that the shipments are infected with salmonella and contends that it “has never had a positive test for salmonella…

The Produce Safety Project of the Pew Charitable Trusts has issued a report following its review of the government response to this summer’s Salmonella Saintpaul outbreak that affected thousands of consumers in many states and was never definitively linked to a source, although tomatoes and jalapeno peppers were alternately blamed. Citing specific examples of confusing, uncoordinated and poorly planned communiqués from multiple government agencies, the report calls for more post-mortem study of the government’s response to clarify its shortcomings and inform future efforts. Noting that federal agencies pointed to tomatoes as the cause of the outbreak, but that no contaminated tomato was ever found, the Pew report suggests that the error not only failed to adequately protect consumers but also cost the agricultural industry millions in losses and could have long-term impacts as consumers lose confidence in the safety of “fresh produce in general and fresh tomatoes in particular.” The…

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