December 3, 2016

Salmonella at COV in Wayzata, MN Sickens Nine

A Salmonella outbreak linked to COV restaurant on Lake Street in Wayzata has sickened nine people, Food Poisoning Bulletin is first to report. The outbreak occurred in early August.

Salmonella outbreak at COV in WayzataCustomers who ordered lobster guacamole at the restaurant on August 4th and 5th became ill within days. All of them have since recovered.

Of the nine reported illnesses, seven have confirmed cases of  Salmonella Virchow infection.  Lobster guacamole was the only food associated with illness, a health department spokesman has confirmed.

Health officials say cross-contamination and temperature abuse were factors in the outbreak. Cross-contamination can occur when food surfaces and utensils used to prepare raw food are used again for cooked food without first being washed. Temperature abuse occurs when foods are kept at temperatures between 40˚F and 140˚F, a range known as the “danger zone” because bacteria can multiply rapidly at these temperatures.

Symptoms of a Salmonella infection, which include fever, abdominal cramps, vomiting and diarrhea that may be bloody, usually appear within six to 72 hours of exposure and last about a week. Some cases, where the infection travels to the bloodstream, can be life-threatening. Those most at risk for Salmonella infections are seniors, young children and those with compromised immune systems.

On average, about 700 confirmed cases of Salmonella occur in Minnesota each year. Within the last few months, the state has been part of a number of outbreaks.

The cucumber Salmonella outbreak, which has sickened 558 people in 33 states, includes 29 cases in Minnesota.  At least 10 of whom ate cucumbers on salads served at Red Lobster.
Salmonella in cucumbers at Red LobsterTwo recalls have been issued in connection with the Salmonella Poona outbreak linked to cucumbers. The first, issued by Andrew and Williamson Fresh Produce of San Diego on September 5, includes cucumbers sold from August 1 through September 3. The second, by Custom Produce Sales of Parlier, California, is for cucumbers sold under the Fat Boy® label starting August 1, 2015.

Earlier this month, a Salmonella Newport outbreak was linked to tomatoes served at Chipotle restaurants in Minnesota. That outbreak has sickened at least 64 people. So far, illnesses were reported in association with food served at 22 of the 60 Minnesota Chipotle locations.

Minnesota Salmonella LawyerIn July, two separate Salmonella outbreaks linked to frozen, breaded chicken products struck Minnesota. The first outbreak was linked to raw, frozen stuffed chicken entrees produced by Barber Foods.  Nine people in four states were sickened in that outbreak, six of then were from Minnesota.

The second was linked to raw, frozen stuffed chicken entrees produced by Aspen Foods. Three people, all in Minnesota, were sickened in this outbreak.

Aspen Foods issued a recall of 1,978,680 pounds of frozen, raw, stuffed and breaded chicken products sold under multiple brand names. Three Minnesotans were sickened in that outbreak.

Ryan Osterholm

Attorney Ryan Osterholm is representing clients sickened by Salmonella in recent outbreaks. Call him at 1-888-377-8900.

Since that time, the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s Food Safety and Inspection Service (USDA-FSIS) began increased monitoring at the plant and has found Salmonella in twelve samples.

To protect consumers from products produced at the Chicago plant which has a “systemic” Salmonella problem, FSIS issued a public health alert and directed its personnel to detain all products covered by the alert found in commerce.

“People often associate Salmonella with poultry and eggs but, as these outbreaks show, it’s a utility player” said Ryan Osterholm, an attorney who is representing several clients sickened in recent outbreaks.

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