July 14, 2024

Another Salmonella Outbreak Linked to Dried Coconut; This Time It’s Go Smile Coconut

A multistate Salmonella Typhimurium outbreak that is linked to recalled  Go Smile coconut has sickened at least 13 people in 8 states, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). Government officials are recommending that people do not eat recalled International Harvest, Inc. brand Go Smile! Raw Coconut, Go Smiles Dried Coconut Raw or recalled Natural Grocers Coconut Smiles Organic.

Go Smiles Coconut Salmonella Outbreak 32118

International Harvest recalled bags of Organic Go Smile! Raw Coconut and bulk packages of Go Smiles Dried Coconut Raw on March 16, 2018. On March 19, 2018, Vitamin Cottage Natural Foods Market recalled packages of Natural Grocers Coconut Smiles Organic. If you aren’t sure if the dried coconut you purchased has been recalled or not, just throw it away, even if some of it has been eaten or served and no one got sick. Bacteria can exist in tiny clumps in foods; not every shred of coconut may be contaminated.

If you choose to throw away the coconut rather than return it to the store, put the coconut into a sealed bag or package so that kids, other people, and animals can’t eat it. Then wash and sanitize drawers or shelves in your pantry, refrigerator, or freezer where the recalled coconut was stored.

Epidemiologic, laboratory, and traceback evidence indicates that dried coconut is the likely source of this multistate outbreak. Of the thirteen people who have been infected, three patients have been hospitalized. No deaths have been reported.

Public health investigators are using the PulseNut system to identify illnesses that may be part of this outbreak. Whole genome sequencing (WGS) performed on isolates taken from ill persons showed that they are closely related genetically. That means the people in this outbreak most likely share a common source of infection.

The case count by state is: California (5), Colorado (1), Connecticut (1), Idaho (1), Missouri (1), Oregon (2), Texas (1), and Utah (1). Illness onset dates range from September 22, 2017 to February 26, 2018. The patient age range is from 1 to 73 years.

Attorney Fred Pritzker

Attorney Fred Pritzker, who has represented clients sickened with Salmonella infections, said, “We don’t know how the coconut was contaminated, but investigators are working on that. Patients should know that even when you recover from this infection, there is still a risk you will develop a serious complication in the future.” Call 1-888-377-8900.

In interviews, seven of the eight people said they ate dried coconut from grocery stores the week before they got sick. Of those seven people, four bought the product at different Natural Grocers store locations. Then, the FDA and state officials collected leftover dried coconut from ill persons’s homes, as well as from the Natural Grocery store locations where the patients shopped.

FDA testing found the outbreak strain of Salmonella Typhimurium in an unopened sample of Natural Grocers Coconut Smiles Organic collected from Natural Grocers. The outbreak strain was also found in an opened, leftover sample of Natural Grocers Coconut Smiles Organic taken from a patient’s home. And the FDA found the outbreak strain of Salmonella Typhimurium in samples of International Harvest Brand Organic Go Smile! Dried Coconut Raw and Go Smiles Dried Coconut Raw.

The symptoms of a Salmonella infection include a fever, abdominal pains and cramps, nausea, vomiting, and diarrhea that may be bloody. While most people recover from this illness without medical care, some become so ill, usually through dehydration or sepsis, that they must be hospitalized. If you have been experiencing these symptoms and have eaten dried coconut, see your doctor.

The noted law firm Pritzker Hageman helps people who have been sickened by contaminated food protect their legal rights and get compensation, answers and justice. Our lawyers help patients and families of children in personal injury and wrongful death lawsuits against schools, retailers, grocery stores, food processors, restaurants, and others. Attorney Fred Pritzker recently won a multi-million dollar lawsuit for a young client who needed brain surgery after a Salmonella infection. You should know that class action lawsuits may not be appropriate for outbreak victims because each case is very different.

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