Meat Processor Sues Spice Suppliers in Salmonella Contamination Outbreak
A meat manufacturer that recalled more than 1 million pounds of meat products linked to a Salmonella outbreak that purportedly sickened more than 250 consumers in 44 states has reportedly sued the companies that supplied the red and black pepper allegedly identified as the source of the contamination. Daniele Int’l, Inc. v. Wholesome Spice & Seasonings, Inc., No. 10-155 (D.R.I., filed March 30, 2010). Seeking compensatory, punitive and exemplary damages, the plaintiff apparently alleges that it recalled more than 1.2 million pounds of meat, including salami, prosciutto and pancetta, refunded more than $1.5 million to customers, incurred transportation and shipping costs, and lost customers and future profits.
The company reportedly purchased more than 50,000 pounds of pepper from one defendant and more than 40,000 pounds of pepper from the other in 2009. According to a news source, public health officials traced the Salmonella strain to the black and crushed red pepper supplied by these defendants. The plaintiff has reportedly indicated that it expects to incur more losses in the future now that a second Salmonella strain has been found in some of its products; it is also facing multiple personal injury claims by consumers who purchased or ate its products. The plaintiff alleges strict products liability, breach of warranty, negligence, and indemnification.