July 22, 2024

Fond du Lac Reservation E. coli Outbreak Link to Catering

Jim-N-Jo's LawsuitFond du Lac Reservation tribal leaders began to investigate an outbreak of E. coli O157:H7 during mid-summer 2014 with assistance from the Minnesota Department of Health. By August 22, the investigation found that 63 people had been infected by two closely knit molecular patterns of the pathogen, including nine people who were hospitalized and 21 who sought care at a clinic. Interviews of more than 130 attendees of an Elder Picnic pointed to potato salad as a significant exposure at the event and testing later confirmed the outbreak strain of E. coli in the potato salad.

Jim-N-Jo’s Northland Katering out of Cloquet, Minnesota, was identified as the food provider. The company also catered a wedding on the reservation where additional people were sickened by toxic E. coli. A report circulated by the Minnesota Department of Agriculture said potato salad wasn’t served at the wedding, but celery became the food item of greatest interest because the same celery that was cut up and served in potato salad at the Elder Picnic also was served raw on veggie trays at the wedding. Jim-N-Jo’s catered both events and three others during the summer of 2014 that were attended by case patients of the outbreak.

Contact an E coli Lawyer - Free Case EvaluationAt least one person sickened in the Fond du Lac reservation E. coli outbreak filed a lawsuit against Jim-N-Jo’s catering and Minnesota E. coli lawyer Fred Pritzker is continuing to investigate the outbreak, which was the largest of its kind in the North Star state in 2014. Most victims are from the reservation, but the Department of Health said in another report that additional case patients live in Wisconsin, Alabama, Illinois, Indiana and Ohio. Members of the Fond du Lac Band of Lake Superior Chippewa who were sickened in the outbreak are weighing their legal options. The Pritzker law firm is one of the very few in the country practicing extensively in the area of foodborne illness litigation and lawyers for the firm filed a food poisoning lawsuit this month on behalf of  a New Mexico mother and her newborn baby. The pair survived an outbreak of Listeria associated with commercially produced caramel apples.

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