Marler Blog

Providing Insight on Food Poisoning Outbreaks & Litigation

We have a romaine E. coli case in Idaho of a young man who suffered a severe case of hemolytic uremic syndrome (HUS), was hospitalized for a month and incurred nearly $250,000 in medical expenses and lost wages.  He has a risk of future kidney complications (including a transplant), but not likely to meet the legal standard of more likely than not – greater than 50%.  He did suffer seizures because of the HUS, but…
I have been talking about food safety and litigation for the last few decades.  The groups I have spoken to have been all types in the food industry – from beef to leafy greens – as well as the heroes of public and environmental health.  I had a chance today  to talk to leaders in the insurance industry about how they can save money by encouraging their insureds to put food safety first. https://www.slideshare.net/marlerclark/2019-rims-nashville…
According to the CDC, since the last update on December 21, 2018, 63 ill people from 24 states, and the District of Columbia, have been added to this investigation. As of February 13, 2019, 279 people infected with the outbreak strain of Salmonella Reading have been reported from 41 states and the District of Columbia. 107 people have been hospitalized. One death has been reported from California. Epidemiologic and laboratory evidence indicates that raw turkey products from a…
The FDA today published its “Investigation Summary: Factors Potentially Contributing to the Contamination of Romaine Lettuce Implicated in the Fall 2018 Multi-State Outbreak of E. coli O157:H7.” First, a hat tip to the FDA investigators for getting at the report critically fast and during the governmental shutdown.  It is prompt, science based, investigations that will identify the “root cause” of an outbreak that will then be used to stop or at least minimize future foodborne…
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and state health officials are investigating potential exposures to Brucella strain RB51 (RB51) in 19 states, connected to consuming raw (unpasteurized) milk from Miller’s Biodiversity Farm in Quarryville, Pennsylvania. One case of RB51 infection (brucellosis) has been confirmed in New York, and an unknown number of people may have been exposed to RB51 from drinking the milk from this farm. This type of Brucella is resistant to first-line drugs and can be difficult…
From January 1, 2019 through January 31, 2019, 189 hepatitis A cases were reported in 26 counties. The number of reported hepatitis A cases more than doubled from 2016 to 2017 after remaining relatively stable in previous years. Case counts in January 2019 are higher than those seen in January of previous years. The number of reported hepatitis A cases steadily increased each month since April 2018 and remained above the previous 5-year average in January 2019. The number…
Lest we forget, as of June 27, 2018, 210 people infected with the outbreak strain of E. coli O157:H7 were reported from 36 states.  Illnesses started on dates ranging from March 13, 2018 to June 6, 2018. Ill people ranged in age from 1 to 88 years, with a median age of 28. Sixty-seven percent of ill people were female. Of 201 people with information available, 96 (48%) were hospitalized, including 27 people who developed hemolytic uremic syndrome,…
I take a ferry to work guarded at times by now unpaid members of the Coast Guard.  Next week with increasing trepidation, I will go through TSA Security with more unpaid professionals on the job monitoring security to then board a plane to be routed to NYC by unpaid Air Traffic Controllers.  I am not sure I could focus on my job while wondering how bills were to be paid. The shutdown hit close to…
Satur Farms, 3705 Alvah’s Lane, Cutchogue, NY 11935 is voluntarily recalling Baby Spinach and Mesclun with the specific lot numbers listed below because it has the potential to be contaminated with Salmonella, an organism which can cause serious and sometimes fatal infections in young children, frail or elderly people and others with weakened immune systems. Healthy persons infected with Salmonella often experience fever, diarrhea (which may be bloody), nausea, vomiting and abdominal pain. In rare…
General Mills announced today a voluntary national recall of five-pound bags of its Gold Medal Unbleached Flour with a better if used by date of April 20, 2020. The recall is being issued for the potential presence of Salmonella which was discovered during sampling of the five-pound bag product. This recall is being issued out of an abundance of care as General Mills has not received any direct consumer reports of confirmed illnesses related to this product.…