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Protect Yourself From Salmonella This Spring

Spring is right around the corner and for many families in the United States, this means it is time to celebrate Easter. An Easter celebration would not be complete without dyed Easter eggs. Easter eggs are nearly always hard boiled, but do not think that this means they cannot carry harmful bacteria. When eggs are not cooked to a safe temperature or they are stored improperly, Salmonella can develop within them and put those who consume the eggs at risk of becoming ill.

Salmonella is a type of food poisoning that can become serious in individuals with weak immune systems, such as young children, pregnant women, and the elderly. For others, Salmonella usually resolves itself within a few days. When Salmonella symptoms appear in an at-risk individual or fail to subside in an individual with a strong immune system, it is important for that individual to receive medical attention as soon as possible. Untreated salmonella can lead to complications like dehydration, bacteremia, and reactive arthritis.

How Can I Protect My Children From Egg-borne Illness?

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Dole Salad Listeria Outbreak Affects 18 Victims in Nine States

By the time the source of a food poisoning outbreak is determined, acknowledged, and publicized, usually hundreds or even thousands of victims or more have been exposed to the dangerous bacteria. This is especially true if the outbreak is linked to a popular or widely-distributed food product. This is currently happening with the Listeria outbreak linked to Dole prepackaged salads, which has affected 18 people in nine states: Indiana, Massachusetts, Connecticut, Michigan, Missouri, New Jersey, Pennsylvania, New York, and Ohio. The first reports of illness linked to the salads were made in the summer of 2015, with more coming in during the following months, right up to January 2016.

All 18 of the victims affected by this outbreak, one of whom was a pregnant woman, were hospitalized. The victims ranged in age from three to 83 years old. In Canada, 11 people were affected by the outbreak, three of whom died of complications related to the infection.

Which Brands are Affected?

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Meal Replacement-linked Salmonella Outbreak Spreads to 15 States

In an earlier blog post, we discussed the Salmonella virchow outbreak linked to Garden of Life meal replacement shakes. Since the time of that blog post, the number of people affected by the outbreak has risen to 18 and spread across 15 states.

Dangerous strains of bacteria that cause food poisoning are not always easy to contain. Sometimes, it is because it is difficult to find the source of the bacteria and other times it is because more foods or products were affected by the bacteria than initially thought. In this case, Garden of Life had to expand its product recall to include more products after people continued to fall ill after its initial recall. The first recall was made in January 2016, followed by an expanded recall in mid-February. The first case of Salmonella linked to Garden of Life's products was reported in Otero County, New Mexico. Since then, reports of illnesses linked to the shake powder have come in from Oregon, Minnesota, Texas, Utah, Oklahoma, Florida, Tennessee, Ohio, North Carolina, Maryland, New Jersey, Rhode Island, and Massachusetts.

Outbreak Facts

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Famous Cases of Chain Restaurant Food Poisoning

Many Americans are under the impression that they are less likely to suffer from food poisoning when eating at well-known chain establishments than they are at smaller, independent food retailers because of the additional safety and quality measures with which corporate restaurants are required to comply. However, corporate oversight does not necessarily mean that the food from a particular retailer is safe from carrying dangerous bacteria. Throughout the 20th and 21st centuries, numerous fast food restaurants have been linked to food poisoning outbreaks.

Below are 11 examples of well-known food poisoning outbreaks that have occurred in the past decades.

  • In 1982, 47 people who ate at Oregon and Michigan McDonald's stores fell ill with a rare form of E.coli poisoning;
  • E.coli was also named as the cause of death for four children and the cause of illness for 732 people who ate the undercooked Monster Burger offered by Jack in the Box in 1993;
  • Again, E.coli caused a fast food chain to suffer negative publicity and have to remove key menu items after diners reported becoming ill. This time, it was Burger King, which had to recall 25 million pounds of beef in 1997 after E.coli poisoning was linked to one of its suppliers, Hudson Foods;
  • In 1999, 11 people were hospitalized for E.coli poisoning after eating improperly-made coleslaw at Cincinnati KFC locations;
  • E.coli can be found in foods other than meat, as Wisconsin Sizzler diners found in 2000. Watermelon that became contaminated when it came into contact with raw meat caused 64 people to report illnesses and one young girl to die as a complication of her illness;
  • In 2003, Chi-Chi's was a part of the most widespread hepatitis A outbreak in United States history when 604 illnesses were linked to tainted green onions consumed at a Pennsylvania location;
  • In 2006, an E.coli outbreak again made the news when three people in Utah suffered from hemolytic uremic syndrome, a serious kidney ailment, after eating at Wendy's;
  • That same year, 71 individuals across five states suffered the effects of E.coli poisoning after eating at Taco Bell locations in California. This led to the state enacting stricter policies for the commercial handling of leafy green vegetables;
  • Jimmy John's has also been linked to E.coli poisoning, first in 2008 and again in 2013;
  • In 2013, 90 people became ill after consuming E.coli-contaminated lettuce at Federico's locations in Arizona; and
  • In 2015, Chipotle made headlines for not only an E.coli outbreak, but a salmonella outbreak and an outbreak of norovirus. Each of these outbreaks occurred in different parts of the country. This string of foodborne illnesses caused Chipotle to introduce stricter food handling and storage procedures.

Work with a Chicago Food Poisoning Attorney

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Newland & Newland Food Poisoning Claim Following Salmonella Outbreak

Recently, our firm was featured in the Chicago Tribune because of a claim we filed on behalf of a client who allegedly became ill with Salmonella poisoning after eating at a funeral luncheon catered by Family Affair Catering.

Food poisoning can become serious, especially in individuals with weak immune systems. When food poisoning happens because of a responsible party's failure to take the correct precautions to ensure that it is providing consumers with a contaminant-free product, the food poisoning victim may seek compensation for his or her losses through a personal injury claim.

Personal Injury Claims Need Evidence

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