Tomato grower Lipman Produce has been added as a defendant in a lawsuit filed against Chipotle. The lawsuit was filed on behalf of a Minnesota woman who contracted Salmonella after eating at a Chipotle restaurant in Maplewood, Minnesota.
The plaintiff is among 64 people who developed Salmonella infections after eating at Chipotle restaurants. The Minnesota Department of Health (MDH) and the Minnesota Department of Agriculture (MDA) collaborated with federal health officials on the investigation of the outbreak that affected customers at 22 of the 60 Chipotle locations in Minnesota.
The state agencies identified tomatoes as the source of the Salmonella Newport outbreak. Lipman Produce of Immokalee, Florida supplied the tomatoes to the the Minnesota Chipotle locations.
The outbreak strain is Salmonella Newport. The case patients, who range in age from 10 to 69 years old, purchased contaminated meals from August 16 to August 28, 2015 and reported onset of illness dates ranging from August 19 and September 3, 2015. Nine patients were hospitalized.
Symptoms of a Salmonella infection, which usually develop within six to 72 hours of exposure, include fever, nausea, abdominal cramps and diarrhea that can be bloody. Typically, these symptoms last between four and seven days. In roughly 30 percent of cases, hospitalization is required.
All but two of the 17 affected restaurant locations are in the Twin Cities metro area. They are: Bloomington, Crystal, Eagan, Edina, Hopkins, Mankato, Maple Grove, Maplewood, Minnetonka, Richfield, Ridgedale, Rochester, Shoreview, St. Cloud, St. Louis Park, St. Paul Lawson; and in Minneapolis 7 Corners, Calhoun Village, Uptown, US Bank Plaza and S. 6th St.
Salmonella outbreaks at restaurants are not uncommon. Recently, a Salmonella outbreak at Fig & Olive restaurants sickened as many as 160 people. The woman, who was seriously sickened with a Salmonella infection, ate at the Fig & Olive Washington D.C. location on August 31, 2015. Her dinner included croquettes with truffle oil. Two days later she became violently ill and was hospitalized for four days.
The other Fig & Olive location with confirmed cases is on Melrose Place in Los Angeles, California. The Fig & Olive restaurant chain also has locations in New York City; Scarsdale, New York; Newport Beach, California; and Chicago, Illinois. Health officials in those states told Food Poisoning Bulletin there have been no reports of illness in those states associated with the restaurant, but news reports have indicated there may be people sickened. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) has taken the lead on the investigation but has not issued any type of statement or report on the outbreak.
And the large cucumber Salmonella outbreak, which has now sickened 767 people in 36 states, also includes case patients who ate at restaurants. In Minnesota, some of the contaminated cucumbers were served at Red Lobster restaurants. At least 11 people who ate at Red Lobster locations developed Salmonella infections.