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Chipotle Fined $25 Million for Repeated Food Poisoning OutbreaksRestaurants are the source of numerous food poisoning incidents each year for which they may or may not be responsible. Sometimes, the restaurant will unknowingly use contaminated food and the food supplier is the liable party. Other times, the restaurant may have caused the incident if it was negligent in safely preparing the food or maintaining a clean kitchen. If a single restaurant or chain of restaurants is involved in multiple food poisoning incidents, health officials may investigate the food safety practices of the restaurants. Officials can even recommend that criminal charges be brought against the restaurant for serving contaminated food.

Chipotle Pays Record Fine

The U.S. Attorney’s Office in the Central District of California fined Chipotle Mexican Grill $25 million for two counts of severing adulterated food in its restaurant. Chipotle agreed to pay the fine – which is the largest ever for a food safety case – and claimed that it has already spent millions more to improve its food safety practices. The U.S. Food and Drug Administration traced at least five food poisoning outbreaks to the restaurant from 2015 to 2018 that are believed to have sickened more than 1,100 people. The cases included multiple norovirus outbreaks in different restaurants across the country. The allegations against the company included:

  • Improper training of employees in food safety practices
  • Not keeping food at high enough temperatures to prevent the spread of pathogens
  • Employees feeling pressured to continue working despite feeling sick
  • Restaurant managers not reporting incidents of employees vomiting at work to company safety officials until after customers complained about becoming sick

Norovirus is a pathogen that can be easily spread in a restaurant if infected employees are handling the food. Symptoms from norovirus can take 12 to 48 hours to develop and include nausea, vomiting, diarrhea, and dehydration. Most patients improve in one-to-three days.

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Aspen Foods Recalls Breaded Chicken Amid Salmonella Scare

Aspen Foods of Chicago is continuing its recall of frozen chicken products after receiving more reports of salmonella illnesses linked to their products. The products recalled include packages of breaded Chicken Kiev, Chicken and Broccoli, and Chicken Cordon Bleu. This recall comes after the company issued a previous recall in July 2015.

Salmonella infection can lead to serious, even deadly, complications. When a company's product is found to be responsible for a consumer's illness, that company may be held liable for the consumer's medical costs and other economic losses caused by the illness. If you or your child became ill after consuming a product such as the products listed above, you could be entitled to a monetary settlement. Contact an experienced food poisoning attorney today to begin this discussion.

Recognizing Recalled Products is Key

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Tagged in: Salmonella
Cilantro Cyclospora Outbreak Continues

A cyclospora outbreak traced to cilantro has infected 218 people so far this summer, making it the third consecutive summer that the parasite has travelled to the United States.

The 2013 Outbreak

In 2013, 631 people in 25 states were sickened from multiple cyclospora outbreaks beginning in June and ending in December. The outbreaks were traced to multiple food sources but the majority of illnesses were related to tainted produce from Mexico. 80% of the cases ocurred in Iowa, Nebraska, and Texas.

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Peanut Corporation of America CEO May Face Life in Prison

Who is Stewart Parnell?

Stewart Parnell, 61, is the former CEO of the Peanut Corporation of America (“PCA”), a peanut butter manufacturer. As a result of a salmonella outbreak tied to PCA products, Parnell has been found guilty on 71 counts of various crimes such as conspiracy, obstruction of justice, and wire fraud. Parnell's sentencing will take place on September 21.

The Salmonella Outbreak

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Candy Food Poisoning in the Philippines Result of Poor Hygiene

A recent food poisoning outbreak from a batch of candy sent nearly 2,000 children to the hospital in the Philippines. Nearly all of the children that were affected by the poisoning have recovered. Health Secretary Janette Garin indicated that preliminary lab results found that human skin and hair were likely the source of contamination in the candy. The contamination could be because the candy makers did not wash their hands or did not wear proper gear, such as gloves and hairnets, and as a result sweat and hair follicles dripped into the candy ingredients. Garin also noted that further tests had to be done to check for the presence of pesticides and toxic chemicals.

The company, Wendy's Durian Candy, has been ordered to stop manufacturing candy to avoid further complications. The company's suspension will be cleared pending the results of an inspection by the Food and Drug Administration.

Hygiene and Food Services

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