July 14, 2024

Romaine Lettuce E. coli Lawsuit Filed As Huge Outbreak That Sickened 210 Ends

Romaine lettuce E. coli lawsuit has been filed as the huge outbreak linked to the leafy green ends. “This isn’t the first time ready-to-eat produce has been linked to a deadly E. coli O157 outbreak,” said Fred Pritzker, attorney and food safety expert, “but it is the largest outbreak of its kind since 2006.” Two hundred ten people were sickened in this outbreak. And worse, 27 people developed hemolytic uremic syndrome (HUS), a type of kidney failure.

Romaine lettuce E. coli lawsuit

On June 28, 2018 the FDA stated that an environmental assessment in the Yuma, Arizona growing region, where officials think the contaminated lettuce is from, found the outbreak strain of E. coli O157:H7 in Canada water. The pathogenic bacteria has the same genetic fingerprint as the bacteria isolated in patient samples. Officials also found “additional strains of Shiga-toxin producing E. coli in water and soil samples, but at the time, the samples from the canal water are the only matches to the outbreak strain,” according to the outbreak report.

Attorney Fred Pritzker

Attorney Fred Pritzker, who has represented clients in romaine lettuce E. coli lawsuit, said, “Even when you recover from this infection, there is still a risk you will develop a serious complication in the future such as kidney disease.”┬áCall 1-888-377-8900 or 612-338-0202.

“It is encouraging that public health officials found the outbreak strain of E. coli bacteria in the area,” Fred added. “But it’s troubling that other strains of this dangerous bacteria were found in environmental samples and that no specific farm was identified. If this bacteria is deposited onto ready-to-eat foods that the consumer doesn’t cook, someone will get sick.”

This outbreak was discovered on April 4, 2018, when the FDA learned about an E. coli O157:H7 cluster among people in two states. A new cluster was reported the next day. Public health officials interviewed ill persons, and identified chopped romaine from Yuma as the likely source of contamination on April 13, 2018.

April 16, 2018 was the final day of romaine harvesting in that area, but FDA didn’t receive confirmation of the final harvest date until May 2, 2018. Public health officials did link whole romaine lettuce heads grown at Harrison Farms in Yuma to eight E. coli illnesses in the Anvil Mountain Correctional Center. But no other farm, processing center, or distributor was ever identified in this outbreak. Some patients have filed a romaine lettuce E. coli lawsuit.

“All CDC could do was announce that the outbreak was over once enough time had passed since the last romaine was harvested in the Yuma region,” Fred said. “The lettuce has a 21-day shelf life, which did help limit the case count. This was still a huge outbreak that affected many people.”


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