Articles Posted in Foodborne Illness

seattle foodborne illness lawyerAll Blue Bell ice cream products have been recalled including ice cream, frozen yogurt, sherbet and frozen products in 23 states after the company has not been able to pinpoint the cause of Listeria contamination in some of it’s products.

According to the Centers for Disease Control (CDC), people should not eat any Blue Bell products. So far, there have been three reported in deaths and 10 illnesses linked to Blue Bell products.

The CDC is able to compare the DNA of the bacteria to link it to Blue Bell foods. Investigators believe the Listeria strain has been present at a Blue Bell factory for a number of years as there have been a pattern of illnesses dating back five years linked to Blue Bell products.

The CD provides the following Advice to Consumers, Institutions, and Retailers regarding the Listeria outbreak and subsequent recall.

Listeria is a bacteria that can be found in sprouts, deli meats, hotdogs, smoked seafood, soft cheeses and unpasteurized milk.

In the healthy, Listeria contamination can cause diarrhea and/or a fever. However, in the most severe cases, it can cause muscle aches, fever, stiff neck and convulsions. Pregnant women are at a risk of a miscarriage if they become infected. Children and people with compromised immune system may also contract severe illness.

Every year, it is estimated that 260 people die and 1600 illnesses occur due to the Listeria bacteria.

Steps to avoid Listeria infection

The following are some steps consumers can take to avoid becoming ill:

  • Rinse and clean fruit and produce
  • Keep uncooked meats away from other foods
  • Avoid consuming unpasteurized or raw milk products

Foodborne Illness Legal Advice

If you or a loved one has suffered serious illness or a loved one as died due to a foodborne illness, you might have questions regarding your legal recourse. The Farber Law Group is a personal injury law firm that has successfully recovered compensation for victims of foodborne illness that was caused by corporate negligence. Contact us if you have questions about your case.

Contact The Farber Law Group at 1-800-244-9087 or attorney@hgfarber.com to schedule a free and confidential case evaluation. Our Bellevue office is here to assist you.
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ice-cream.jpgThree patients have died and two others were sickened in a Wichita, Kansas hospital, after all were apparently infected with the listeria monocytogenes bacteria linked to Blue Bell ice cream served to them when they were in the hospital.

For of five of the ill patients had underlying health issues and were patients in the the Via Christi St. Francis hospital in Wichita, Kansas when they were served single serving ice cream, “Scoops.”

Tests on patients and the ice cream showed that both had the same listeria contaminant. The Centers for Disease Control (CDC) investigated the outbreak and can determine the DNA fingerprint of listeria bacteria.

Blue Bell ice cream is a 108 year old company and this is their first recall. It appears that Chocolate Chip Country Cookies, Great Divide Bars, Sour Pop Green Apple Bars, Cotton Candy Bars, Scoops, Vanilla Stick Slices, Almond Bars and No Sugar Added Moo Bars manufactured in the Brenham, Texas plant were contaminated.

All contaminated products have been removed from store shelves but consumers are recommended to remove any Blue Bell ice cream from their freezers with the product SKU’s listed here.

About Listeria

Listeria is a pathogen that can be found in the soil, raw milk, meat, poultry, vegetation, anand animals. The bacteria can be spread when people consume uncooked foods, fail to wash their hands or when there is a break-down in manufacturing safety.

Symptoms of listeria includes flu-like symptoms and women who are pregnant, those with compromised immune systems, and the elderly are most susceptible to serious illness after infection.

Approximately 2,500 people are sickened every year in the U.S. and, of those, 200 become seriously ill and die.

Treatment of listeria include antibiotics.

One of the worst listeriosis outbreaks in the United States occurred in 2011 when cantaloupes shipped by Jensen Farms in Colorado killed 33 people and caused at least one miscarriage. In that case, 123 people were sickened.

Contact The Farber Law Group Listeria Lawyers

This information is provided by Washington Injury Attorney blog, a service of The Farber Law Group. We represent people who have become sickened by foodborne illness and the family of those who have died.

Contact The Farber Law Group at 1-800-244-9087 or attorney@hgfarber.com to schedule a free and confidential case evaluation. Our Bellevue office is here to assist you.
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seattle food poisoning lawyerThe Seattle Times reports that 28 people have become ill due to an outbreak of listeria food poisoning including a teenage boy from Thurston County. In all, it appears that five people have died and 28 people have become ill and the culprit appears to be caramel apples.

According to the Centers for Disease Control (CDC), 26 people have been hospitalized in ten states including Washington state.

The CDC recommends that consumers not consume any prepackaged caramel apples including plain caramel apples including those that have nuts, sprinkles, chocolate or other toppings until a definitive source of the listeria contamination has been identified.

The CDC reports that apples that are not pre-packaged without caramel coating have not caused any illness.

The CDC provides the following advice:

  • Do not eat pre-packaged caramel apples.
  • If you have purchased any caramel apples, dispose of them by sealing them in a plastic garbage bag.
  • Uncoated apples are fine.
  • You can make your own caramel apples at home.
  • If you become ill after eating a prepackaged caramel apple, contact your doctor.

Listeria Foodborne Bacteria

Listeria is a bacteria which can cause a rare bacterial disease in humans, listeriosis. Listeriosis is a serious infection and, in the worse cases, can cause sepsis an meningitis. Listeriosis in pregnant women, newborns and people with compromised immune systems such as the elderly, are especially susceptible to the serious form of the disease.

Listeriosis can be prevented by keeping foods properly refrigerated and by properly sanitizing food contact surfaces.

Symptoms of listeria include fever, muscle pain, diarrhea and gastroenteritis.

In the worst cases of the disease, patients require hospitalization and high-doses of antimicrobials and antibiotics. Pregnant women should be promptly treated to avoid infecting the unborn baby.

One of the worst listeriosis outbreaks in the United States occurred in 2011 when cantaloupes shipped by Jense Farms in Colorado killed 33 people and caused at least one miscarriage. In that case, 123 people were sickened.

Contact The Farber Law Group Listeria Lawyers

If you or a family member has become seriously ill with a Listeria infection after consuming caramel apples and you would like to file a legal claim for your damages which would include medical costs, loss of wages and other compensation, you can contact The Farber Law Group for a free case evaluation. The Farber Law Group has successfully recovered represented other victims of foodborne illness and their families.

Contact The Farber Law Group at 1-800-244-9087 or attorney@hgfarber.com to schedule a free and confidential case evaluation. Our Bellevue office is here to assist you.
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A new study presented by the American Heart Association reveals that poison control centers field thousands of call after children accidentally consume so-called “energy drinks” containing high amounts of caffeine.

Consumption of energy drinks poses serious health effects to young children under the age of six including dangerous high blood pressure, irregular heart rhythms and seizures.

According to the Heart Association study, 40% — more than 5,000 — phone calls to poison control centers between 2010 and 2013 involved children who had consumed energy drinks.

Even more children may be affected as often children are taken to Emergency Rooms instead of a call to the poison control center. Calls to poison control center may prove just a fraction of the actual number of exposures.

Energy drinks contain high amounts of sugar and about the same amount of caffeine as in a cup of coffee. Some energy drinks can contain more than 4 times this amount. The drinks can also contain taurine and l-carnitine and the herb ginseng.

Young children should never consume energy drinks and the drinks often contain warnings to that effect. However, young children under the age of six usually don’t read labels and it is incumbent on caretakers to make sure that children are not accidentally ingesting these drinks.

Caffeine poisoning

Symptoms of caffeine overdose in children can include:

  • Tensing and relaxing muscles
  • Nausea
  • Vomiting
  • Shock
  • Rapid heartbeat
  • Extremely high blood pressure
  • Rapid and deep breathing

Shock is a life-threatening side effect and a person in shock can suffer unconsciousness, confusion, chest pains, bluish lips, agitation, clammy skin, low or no urine output, rapid and weak pulse.

In the case of serious symptoms, one should call 911 for immediate medical attention.

This information is provided by Washington Injury Attorney blog, a service of The Farber Law Group. We represent people who have become seriously ill due to food poisoning and dangerous products.

Contact The Farber Law Group at 1-800-244-9087 or attorney@hgfarber.com to schedule a free and confidential case evaluation. Our Bellevue office is here to assist you.

For more information, see the American Heart Association article, Poison control data show energy drinks and young kids don’t mix
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foster_farms.pngFoster Farms, Farmerville, LA, has issued a limited voluntary recall of 39,747 pounds of Chicken Breast Grilled Strips produced on August 5 and distributed to Washington state due in possible Listeria monocytogenes contamination.

The recalled products have a “best by” date of 8-05-15 and a plant code of P-33901.

The presence of the pathogen was discovered during routine testing by Foster Farms. There have been no reports of illness associated with the recalled product.

The recall only affects the 3.25 pound packages sold at Costco stores in Alaska, California, Colorado, Louisiana, Idaho, Montana, Texas, Hawaii and Washington. All retailers have been notified.

Costco generally reaches out to customers via a letter or e-mail since they have this information available because customers use a member number.

For more information about the recall, see the Foster Farms website or Costco website.

Salmonella Symptoms

Salmonella is a bacteria which can cause salmonellosis, a food-borne illness, in humans.

Symptoms can include:

  • Diarrhea
  • Abdmonal cramps
  • Fever

In some cases, symptoms of food-borne illness can be quite sever and require hospitalization. The elderly, pregnant women, young children and people with compromised immune systems may be especially vulnerable to the effects of the illness. People with severe symptoms should consult their physician or local hospital.
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cold-sandwich-704143-m.jpgA 4-year-old Oregon girl has died because of complications from E-coli and a friend with whom she shared a turkey sandwich with over the Labor Day weekend is in a Tacoma hospital being treated for kidney failure linked to E-coli.

Serena Faith Profitt, 4, of Otis, died on Monday from what is believed to be Hemolytic uremic syndrome (HUS) which most likely developed from Escherichia coli (E-coli) bacteria. Oregon Health Department officials are determining the likely strain of E-Coli but E-coli O157:H7 is often the bacteria which causes kidney failure.

Serena’s friend, a 5-year-old boy, is still in critical condition but appears to be improving from the same illness. The parents said that the two had shared a turkey sandwich at a dinner at an Oregon restaurant and the sandwich might be the culprit.

Symptoms of E-coli infection can include severe diarrhea and vomiting. In it’s most severe form, it can include bloody diarrhea, vomiting, severe abdominal pain, extreme fatigue, pale skin, persistent fever, bruises and or bleeding from the nose or mouth, decreased urination and swelling.

The most common cause of HUS is E-coli infection. The source of the infection is usually found in contaminated meat or produce or swimming pools or lakes contaminated with human feces.

Small children under the age of 5 , pregnant women and older adults are most apt to become acutely ill from E-coli.

Treatment for HUS can consist of easing symptoms. Some children require an IV. Others undergo kidney dialysis. Some children are treated with medications such as ACE inhibitors.

E-coli infection

Preventing E-coli infection requires food prepares to wash and cook foods adequately and to wash hands and cooking utensils. Children should also avoid swimming in unclean swimming areas.

One of the deadliest E-coli outbreaks occurred in Germany in 2011. 53 people died of E-coli from contaminated sprouts. In 1993, four people died after an outbreak of E-coli linked to undercooked hamburgers from Jack in the Box. In 1996, one person died after contracting E-coli from unpasteurized apple juice manufactured by Odwalla.

For more information, read “Escherichia coli O157:H7 and HUS kidney failure.”
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If you purchased Kirkland Signature Real Sliced Fruit by Oregon Freeze Dry from Costco with a Feb. 14, 2015 to March 11, 2015 “best by” date, you should dispose of any unopened product or return it to Costco and monitor your health. Look for this date on the product:

fresh_fruitBest Before Date: FEB 14 2015 – MAR 11 2015 (which reads FEB142015 – MAR112015)

The Food and Drug Administration (FDA)was able to contact people who purchased the product because shoppers must use a Costco card at checkout which provides the FDA with customer name and address information.

According to the FDA, there are no confirmed cases of salmonella illness.

In all, 59,780 cases of the product were voluntarily recalled after the company found that the product may have been contaminated. From the lists of states where the product was shipped to, it appears that none of the suspect product was shipped to Washington, Idaho or Oregon.

About Salmonella

Salmonellosis is a bacterial infection which can result in abdominal cramps, severe diarrhea, and fever. People infected with the bacteria usually become ill within 12 to 72 hours. Most infected people do not require treatment however those with severe diarrhea may need to be hospitalized especially if the infection has spread to the blood stream.

Infants, pregnant women, the elderly and people with impaired immune systems are especially vulnerable to serious illness in the case of an infection.

There are approximately 42,000 reported cases of salmonellosis every year in the United States and an average of 400 die from the infection or its complications.

One long-term consequence of salmonellosis is a type of reactive arthritis which can last months or years and can result in chronic arthritis.

Preventing Salmonella

Here are some tips to prevent salmonella infection:

  • Thoroughly cook foods containing eggs and raw products such as unpasteurized milk, ground beef and poultry.
  • In restaurants, don’t hesitate to return undercooked meat.
  • Wash hands and cutting and cooking surfaces when cooking with raw meat and poultry.
  • Be especially careful with raw foods around babies, the elderly, pregnant women and people with compromised immune systems.
  • Wash your hands thoroughly if you handle pet reptiles.

This information is provided by Washington Injury Attorney blog, a service of The Farber Law Group. We represent people who have become seriously ill due to foodborne illness. If you have experienced serious illness requiring hospitalization, you may have a claim for your medical expenses, loss of wages and for pain and suffering against the restaurant or food supplier if their negligence resulted in your illness. Contact us today for a free and confidential case evaluation.

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treats.jpgThe Washington Injury Attorney blog represents people who have become ill due to foodborne illness. We closely follow recall notices for products which have sickened people with illnesses such as listeria, e-coli and salmonella. In some cases, we represent people who have life-threatening illnesses due to food contamination and work to obtain them compensation for their medical costs and for pain and suffering.

A recent notice by the Food and Drug Administration regarding jerky treats for dogs made in China caught our eye and we thought we should post information about the illnesses and deaths to warn dog owners as we are pet lovers here at The Farber Law Group.

The FDA is investigating the death of 600 dogs and more than 3,600 pets who have become sickened by jerky treats made of chicken, duck and sweet potato. The deaths have occurred since 2007 and recently decreased when some jerky treats were removed from the market. While the illnesses been linked to many brands of jerky treats one common denominator is that the treats were exported to the U.S. from China.

The FDA finds the death of the pets to be a mystery. The FDS has tested treats for toxins, metals, bacteria and pesticides and still have not found the cause of the illness. They have even had inspectors visit Chinese plants yet have still not found the exact cause of the illnesses and deaths.

Dogs have experienced decreased appetites, vomiting, diarrhea and lethargy after eating some treats. In the most severe cases, the pets have suffered kidney failure and internal bleeding and death.

Because treats are optional, some veterinarian’s are recommending eliminating them from your pet’s diet just in case.The FDA recommends that pet owners to watch their pets for the symptoms listed above.

For more information read, “Questions and Answers Regarding Jerky Pet Treats” on the FDA website.
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food borne illness lawyerConAgra Foods, with the approval of the U.S. Food and Drug Administration, has issued a recall of Kroger of Kroger Break N’Bake 16-ounce chocolate chip cookie dough packages with a use-by-date of November 24 and a UPC code of “11110 85730” because they may contain peanut butter cup cookie dough which poses a danger to those with peanut allergies.

In Washington state, the Kroger Break N’Bake products are distributed at Fred Meyer and QFC stores.

So far, there have been no reports of illness or injury due to product.

Customers who purchased the cookie dough may return the product for a full refund.

Peanut allergy can cause a severe immune system reaction in .4-.6% of the United States population. The most severe reaction to peanut allergy is anaphylaxis (anaphylactic shock) which requires immediate medical attention and can result in death.

According to the Asthma and Allergy Foundation of America, peanut allergy is one of the leading causes of food-related fatalities.

It is rare for a lawsuit to be filed due a peanut allergy. Most adults read food labels and avoid foods with that contain peanuts or peanut oils.

Peanut allergy among children is quite common and reactions to peanuts can cause symptoms such as diarrhea, runny nose, shortness of breath, hives, asthma or abdominal pain to the life-threatening anaphylactic shock.

People with severe peanut allergy should carry an epi-pen. In a school or daycare setting, the staff should be educated on avoiding peanuts in foods provided to children and avoiding cross contamination.

Peanut Allergy Lawsuits

There have been several peanut allergy-related lawsuits in news lately:

In Michigan, parents of a child with peanut allergies are suing their school district after they say their son was bullied because he was identified as having peanut and tree nut allergies and children blamed him for being denied treats.

United Airlines is being sued after a woman suffered a severe peanut allergy on a flight after reassuring they would accommodate her allergy.

A Chicago school child died after a Chinese Restaurant that catered a school party used peanut products even though they were warned about the child’s allergy. The family in this case filed a wrongful death lawsuit.
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seattle food poisoning lawyerPenny’s Salsa company of Auburn, Washington has recalled all of its hummus products due to the concern that it may be contaminated with the bacteria listeria.

The hummus products including Creamy Original, Garlic, Hummus De Gallo and Roasted Red Pepper with a use-by date of July 13 through 25 should be returned to the store where it was purchased for a refund. The hummus products were sold at QFC stores in Washington and Oregon.

Listeriosis can cause a central nervous system infection. It is especially dangerous to pregnant women, young children, the elderly and those with an compromised immune system. Symptoms include muscle aches and fevers as well as gastrointestinal symptoms including diarrhea. Infection in pregnant women can cause a miscarriage, a stillbirth or cause premature delivery.

So far, no illness has been linked to the product.

The Listeria monocytogenes is prevalent in the environment but the primary way in which infection is spread is through food products and is most often found in soft cheeses and unpasteurized milk. However, most recently, there was a deadly outbreak linked to cantaloupes from Colorado and 23 people died as a result of the infection and more than 166 became ill.

If you think you have become ill because of a foodborne illness, you should contact your doctor or local health department.
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