About E. coli

From the nation’s leading law firm representing victims of E. coli and other foodborne illness outbreaks.

About E. coli Blog

Evergreen Sprout E. coli Outbreak Litigation – Multi-state (2014)

Marler Clark represents several victims and to date has filed four lawsuits.

Public health officials in California, Idaho, Michigan, Montana, Utah and Washington collaborated with their federal partners at the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) and the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) to investigate an outbreak of E. coli O121 that occurred in May 2014.  A total of 19 persons with the outbreak strain, identified by PulseNet PFGE Pattern Identification Numbers EXKX01.0011/EXKA26.0001, were reported.  Among persons for whom information was available, dates of illness onset ranged from May 1, 2014 to May 20, 2014.  Ill persons ranged from 11 years to 52 years.  Seven of 16 persons for whom information was available were hospitalized.  No ill person developed hemolytic uremic syndrome and no deaths were reported.

Epidemiologic and traceback investigations conducted by public health officials implicated raw clover sprouts produced by Evergreen Fresh Sprouts, LLC of Hayden, Idaho as the likely source of this outbreak.  Thirteen (81%) of 16 ill persons reported eating raw clover sprouts in the week before becoming ill.  Ill persons in Washington and Idaho reported eating sprouts in sandwiches at several local food establishments including several Jimmy John’s Gourmet Sandwiches locations, the Pita Pit, and Daanen’s Deli.

As part of the investigation the FDA performed a traceback analysis and determined that Evergreen Fresh Sprouts supplied sprouts to seven restaurants with outbreak associated cases.  This analysis used documents collected directly from the distributors and the grower, Evergreen Fresh Sprouts, as well as documents collected by the states from the points of service.

The FDA conducted several inspections at the Evergreen Fresh Sprouts facility in May and June.  During the inspections FDA investigators observed a number of unsanitary conditions, including condensate and irrigation water dripping from rusty valves, a rusty and corroded watering system in the mung bean room, tennis rackets (used to scoop mung bean sprouts) that had scratches, chips and frayed plastic; a pitchfork (used to transfer mung bean sprouts) that had corroded metal, and a squeegee (used to agitate mung bean sprouts inside a soak vat) that had visible corroded metal and non-treated wood.

On June 26, 2014 the FDA and CDC held a meeting with the owner of Evergreen Fresh Sprouts to advise the firm of FDA’s concerns that the seed lot used to row clover sprouts linked to this outbreak might be contaminated and to encourage Evergreen Fresh Sprouts to discontinue using that seed lot.  The owner of Evergreen Fresh Sprouts agreed to stop using the suspected lot of seeds.  On August 1, 2014 the CDC declared the outbreak over and published a final outbreak summary on-line at http://www.cdc.gov/ecoli/2014/O121-05-14/index.html.

Coco Loco E. coli Outbreak Lawsuit – Texas (2013)

Beginning in late April 2013 at least 10 people were infected with E. coli O157:H7 after eating at Coco Loco Mexican Restaurant located in College Station, Texas.  Five individuals were laboratory confirmed with E. coli O157:H7; five others were not laboratory confirmed with the pathogen but had symptoms clinically consistent with an E. coli O157:H7 infection.  Two brothers, Noah and Jack Mellon, were hospitalized.  According to media reports the Brazos County Health Department conducted an outbreak investigation, concluding that the source of the outbreak was ground beef served at Coco Loco.

Brazos County Health Department director, Dr. Eric Wilke, was quoted as saying “The two most likely things [as the source of the outbreak] are either someone touched raw meat and then their hands didn’t get clean and they touched other things and that’s how it transmitted bacteria or some meat was undercooked.” Dr. Wilke noted that the restaurant was making changes to improve safety by adding gloves and logs for food temperature.

Marler Clark represents one adult and two children.  The children both developed hemolytic uremic syndrome.

Canada E. coli Outbreak Tops 27 With 1 Dead

The Public Health Agency of Canada, along with its health and food safety partners, is investigating 27 confirmed cases of E. coli O157:H7 illness; 12 in British Columbia, 10 in Alberta, 2 in Saskatchewan, 2 in Manitoba and 1 in Quebec.

These individuals became ill between mid-July and late-September.  There has been one death.

Certain contaminated cheese products manufactured by Gort’s Gouda Cheese Farm in Salmon Arm, British Columbia, have been identified as the source of the illnesses. The Canadian Food Inspection Agency (CFIA) has issued a Health Hazard Alert warning the public not to consume the affected product.

Arizona E. coli Outbreak at Federico’s Mexican Hits 33

As of August 6, 2013, at least 33 people who ate at the Federico’s Mexican Restaurant in the West Valley outside of Phoenix, Arizona have fallen ill with E. coli infections. According to news reports, 15 cases were hospitalized.  I have been on the phone today with 12 victims of this outbreak – one whose daughter has developed hemolytic uremic syndrome (HUS).

It made me think of past outbreak and past lawsuits.

Los Burritos Mexicanos:  An E. coli outbreak in DuPage County, Illinois, is suspected to have been caused by food served at the Los Burritos Mexicanos restaurant in Lombard.  The restaurant was closed on June 14, 2013 during an E. coli outbreak investigation.  The DuPage County Health Department counted 31 confirmed and probable E. coli cases as part of the Los Burritos Mexicanos outbreak.

Ixtapa Family Mexican Restaurant:  In October of 2008, Snohomish County Health Department (SCHD) epidemiologists investigated an E. coli O157:H7 outbreak among patrons of the Ixtapa Family Mexican Restaurant in Lake Stevens, Washington.  Dates of illness onset ranged from October 7-17, 2008.  An investigation by the SCHD and the Washington State Department of Health (WSDOH) identified sixty-four cases of E. coli infection linked to the consumption of food at Ixtapa restaurant.  Four confirmed cases were hospitalized, and one developed hemolytic uremic syndrome (HUS), a severe complication of E. coli that can lead to kidney failure.

El Mexicano Mexican Restaurant:  In May of 2012, the South Carolina Department of Health and Environmental Control (DHEC) announced that it was investigating an outbreak of E. coli O157:H7 that had sickened 11 individuals in the Spartanburg area. All 11 victims reported eating at the same El Mexicano Mexican restaurant. Two of the victims developed hemolytic uremic syndrome (HUS). Illnesses were related to eating at the restaurant during the last week of April.

Coco Locos Restaurant: In May 2013, the source of an E. coli O157:H7 outbreak in Brazos County, Texas is being investigated by public health officials and is believed to have been caused by E. coli-contaminated ground beef served at the Coco Locos restaurant located in 300 block of George Bush Drive in College Station, TX.  According to news reports, at least 10 people were part of the E. coli outbreak, which has been linked to ground beef served at the restaurant.  Health officials have not yet determined whether the E. coli outbreak stemmed from under-cooked ground beef or from cross-contamination between raw ground beef and other foods or surfaces in the restaurant kitchen.

Habaneros Mexican Restaurant:  In late August of 2003, staff in the Communicable Disease (CD) section at the St. Clair County Health Department (SCCHD) received a report that four Illinois residents who had recently traveled to the St. Clair area were experiencing bloody diarrhea and had gone to emergency rooms in their respective hometowns for treatment.  On Tuesday, September 2, SCCHD was notified that E. coli O157:H7 had been isolated from at least one of the four people’s stool specimens.  At the same time, the SCCHD began receiving other reports of diarrheal illness in patients seen by local physicians.  Preliminary interviews of ill persons revealed that all had eaten at Habaneros prior to the onset of diarrhea.   SCCHD conducted a foodborne outbreak investigation and found that of 64 persons, including seven employees, who had eaten at Habaneros between August 15, 2003 and September 5, 2003, thirty (47%) reported having diarrheal symptoms; ten sought medical care.  An extensive food consumption history was obtained from each person interviewed, but no specific food-item was statistically associated with illness.

Taco Johns:  In December 2006, Iowa and Minnesota health officials investigated an E. coli O157:H7 outbreak among patrons at Taco John’s restaurants in Cedar Falls, Iowa, and Albert Lea and Austin, Minnesota. As of December 13, 2006, the Iowa Department of Health had confirmed that at least 50 Iowans had become ill with E. coli infections after eating at Taco John’s, and the Minnesota Department of Health had confirmed that at least 27 Minnesotans were part of the outbreak.

Taco Bell:  Taco Bell restaurants were the source of an E. coli outbreak during the last week of November and the beginning of December 2006. Residents of New Jersey, New York, Pennsylvania, Delaware, and South Carolina were confirmed by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) as being part of the Taco Bell E. coli outbreak, which was traced to contaminated lettuce served in foods at Taco Bell restaurants. On December 13, 2006, the CDC announced that at 71 people had become ill with E. coli infections associated with the Taco Bell restaurant outbreak. Of those 71, 53 people had been hospitalized, 48 people were confirmed ill with E. coli, and 8 developed hemolytic uremic syndrome.

E. coli:  Marler Clark, The Food Safety Law Firm, is the nation’s leading law firm representing victims of E. coli outbreaks and hemolytic uremic syndrome (HUS). The E. coli lawyers of Marler Clark have represented thousands of victims of E. coli and other foodborne illness infections and have recovered over $600 million for clients. Marler Clark is the only law firm in the nation with a practice focused exclusively on foodborne illness litigation.  Our E. coli lawyers have litigated E. coli and HUS cases stemming from outbreaks traced to ground beef, raw milk, lettuce, spinach, sprouts, and other food products.  The law firm has brought E. coli lawsuits against such companies as Jack in the Box, Dole, ConAgra, Cargill, and Jimmy John’s.  We have proudly represented such victims as Brianne Kiner, Stephanie Smith and Linda Rivera.

E. coli Lawyer Attorney: Update on Federico’s Mexican Restaurant Outbreak with Inspections

The Maricopa County Department of Public Health and Environmental Services in collaboration with the Arizona Department of Health Services is investigating an outbreak that appears to be linked to the Federico’s Mexican Restaurant located at 13132 W Camelback.

So far, at least 11 of the 15 individuals with bloody diarrhea that MCDPH has been able to interview have either purchased food from or eaten at this particular Federico’s. MCDPH has also received preliminary laboratory results indicating that the bacteria causing the illness is E. coli O157.

“Just to be clear, it is only this one Federico’s establishment where many of the cases have reported eating or purchasing food,” said Dr Bob England, director of MCDPH. “The investigation remains ongoing and we have all hands on deck to figure out the specific source.

The Maricopa County Environmental Services Department (MCESD) responded by inspecting the facility immediately and taking food samples. “The restaurant has been extremely cooperative with our investigation. In fact, out of an abundance of caution and concern for their customers, the restaurant is voluntarily closing,” said Steven Goode, deputy director for MCESD.

Anyone who has eaten at this particular Federico’s Mexican Food from on or after July 23 AND is experiencing bloody diarrhea should see a healthcare provider so a stool culture can be ordered. Options for people without a health care provider include urgent care centers or community health centers.

The illness appears to be caused by a class of bacteria that produces a toxin. This toxin can cause severe illness and, especially in children, can lead to kidney failure and even death.

It is important for health care providers to be aware of this outbreak because treating children with antibiotics for this bacteria can increase the risk of serious consequences. Providers who have patients who they suspect may be related to this outbreak should order a stool culture and contact MCDPH’s disease reporting line at 602-747-7500.

“Unfortunately, there is still much to uncover about this outbreak such as what specific food may have been contaminated, how the food was contaminated and how many people have been exposed. As we discover this information, we will continue to share with the public,” England added.

Past Inspections

8-1-13

No county legal will result from this inspection. Discussed the five reportable foodborne illnesses and corresponding symptoms employees must report to the Person in Charge to reduce the risk of transmission of foodborne illness. Advised Person in Charge to create and maintain an employee illness log. Cooking and holding temperatures of PHF/TCS food items were found to be in compliance. However, cooked chilies were observed to have been improperly cooled. Cooled chilies were found to be between 62-63°F after cooling for 6 hours. Chiles were embargoed. Reviewed the time/temperature milestones that must be achieved to properly and safely cool PHF/TCS foods. Chiles were embargoed; see form. In addition, took samples of suspect food items. See embargo form. Discussed proper hand washing procedures with Person in Charge. Advised Person in Charge to remind employees that within the 20-second hand wash requirement, hands must be scrubbed with soap between 10 to 15 seconds. Discussed proper ware washing procedures. Advised person in charge that all food contact surfaces in continuous contact with potentially hazardous food items must be washed, rinsed and sanitized no less than every 4 hours if under room temperature. Investigation conducted with RS 1021.

5-29-13

3-501.16(A)(2) and (B), P: Potentially Hazardous Food (Time/Temperature Control for Safety Food), Cold Holding: Shredded cooked and raw pork, shredded cooked and raw beef, cooked shrimp, breaded cooked fish, breaded cooked chili (egg battered), cut deli ham held in reach in cooler at 50 F. Deli ham in walk in cooler held at 47 F. Manger was notified and Items were discarded.

4-301.11, Pf: Cooling, Heating, and Holding Capacities-Equipment: Reach in cooler in the cook line works at 53 F. Must repair.

3-14-13

6-501.12, C: Cleaning, Frequency and Restrictions: Floor around the cove in dry storage room is covered with food debris beans, flour and seeds. Must clean as often as needed.

11-8-12

7-202.12, P: Conditions of Use***** Observed can of Raid insecticide in office stored on shelf above rags used in sanitizer buckets in establishment. Person in charge voluntarily discarded. Person in charge states that pest control is done once a month in establishment. Only a licensed pest control applicator may apply pesticide in establishment, please increase frequency of treatment if needed.

9-5-12

3-501.16(A)(2) and (B), P: Potentially Hazardous Food (Time/Temperature Control for Safety Food), Cold Holding – Various items were observed out of temperature. In the sandwich table refrigerator the following items were at the noted temperatures; sliced tomatoes @ 50.1° F, sour cream @ 48.7° F, guacamole @ 51.5° F, Pico de Gallo @ 49.8 ° F, Shredded lettuce @ 47.1° F, Special beef @ 49.0° F, raw beef @ 51.0° F, and raw bacon @ 52.8° F. I had items that had been in the cooler for more than 6 hours discarded and the remainder of products adopted time as a temperature control until unit could be repaired. Also salsa in salsa bar were observed in plastic containers @ 45.7° F and 47.8° F. The salsas were removed from the plastic containers and placed in metal ones which transferred the cold from the ice better and they regained proper temperature.3-501.15 (A), Pf: Cooling Methods – A container of cooked shrimp was observed sitting on a shelf at 98.1° F. Per employee it had finished cooking about two hours prior but it was not known when they reached 135° F. I had the shrimp placed in a colander and bathed in ice water until they reached proper cold holding temperature and then placed in the refrigerator. 4-301.11, Pf: Cooling, Heating, and Holding Capacities-Equipment – The sandwich table refrigerator was not maintaining products at proper temperature. Call repair technician immediately. I will re-inspect for repair.

2-16-12

3-501.16(A)(1), P: Potentially Hazardous Food (Time/Temperature Control for Safety Food), Hot Holding Cooked rice in hot holding unit in near preparation table was 93*F. Refried beans along cook line was 113-129*F. Potentially hazardous food items need to be held at 135*F or above. Food items were heated immediately on stove.

Marler Clark: Past Arizona E. coli Lawsuits

Bravo Farms Gouda Cheese E. coli Outbreak Lawsuits – Southwestern US (2010)

Nestle Toll House Cookie Dough E. coli Outbreak Lawsuits – Nationwide (2009)

United Food Group E. coli Outbreak Lawsuits – Western States (2007)

Dole Spinach E. coli Outbreak Lawsuits – Nationwide (2006)

E. coli:  Marler Clark, The Food Safety Law Firm, is the nation’s leading law firm representing victims of E. coli outbreaks and hemolytic uremic syndrome (HUS). The E. coli lawyers of Marler Clark have represented thousands of victims of E. coli and other foodborne illness infections and have recovered over $600 million for clients. Marler Clark is the only law firm in the nation with a practice focused exclusively on foodborne illness litigation.  Our E. coli lawyers have litigated E. coli and HUS cases stemming from outbreaks traced to ground beef, raw milk, lettuce, spinach, sprouts, and other food products.  The law firm has brought E. coli lawsuits against such companies as Jack in the Box, Dole, ConAgra, Cargill, and Jimmy John’s.  We have proudly represented such victims as Brianne Kiner, Stephanie Smith and Linda Rivera.

If you or a family member became ill with an E. coli infection or HUS after consuming food and you’re interested in pursuing a legal claim, contact the Marler Clark E. coli attorneys for a free case evaluation.

Second E. coli Lawsuit Filed Against Los Burritos Mexicanos

Seattle-based Marler Clark and Chicago-based Newland & Newland filed a second E. coli lawsuit yesterday against Los Burritos Mexicanos on behalf of a man who claims to have fallen ill with an E. coliinfection after eating at the restaurant.

Los Burritos Mexicanos was sued yesterday by a man who alleges he fell ill with an E. coli infection and was hospitalized after eating food prepared at the restaurant in June.  The lawsuit is the second filed against the restaurant in DuPage County Superior Court by Seattle-based Marler Clark, the nation’s leading law firm representing victims of foodborne illness, and Chicago-based Newland & Newland.

In the lawsuit, plaintiff Quinten Hayley alleges he fell ill with an E. coli infection after eating at Los Burritos Mexicanos on June 7, 2013.  Mr. Hayley alleges that he fell ill with symptoms of E. coli infection, including bloody diarrhea and severe abdominal cramps, on June 10 and was admitted to the hospital after a visit to the Emergency Room on June 11.  Court documents state that Mr. Hayley was hospitalized for four days and has continued to experience symptoms of E. coli infection since being discharged on June 14.  The complaint states that a stool specimen submitted while the plaintiff was hospitalized tested positive for E. coli O157:H7.   The DuPage County Health Department announced that at least 31 people, including one who developed Hemolytic Uremic Syndrome have been linked to this E. coli outbreak.

BACKGROUND:  Marler Clark has represented thousands of victims of foodborne illness in the 20 years since the Jack in the Box E. coli outbreak.  The law firm has secured over $600,000,000 on behalf of victims of E. coli, Salmonella and other foodborne illness outbreaks.  Together with Newland & Newland, the law firm has represented victims of several Chicago-area foodborne illness outbreaks.

E. coli not less in Seattle

King County Public Health agency shut down an Ethiopian restaurant in Seattle’s central district on Wednesday afternoon after connecting the establishment to an outbreak of E. coli O157:H7, health agency spokeswoman Kathryn Ross has confirmed to Food Safety News.

At least two people have fallen ill in the outbreak, and Ross said the likelihood of others being sickened is uncertain.

In its closure notification, the agency cited Ambassel Ehtiopian Cuisine & Bar with five safety violations, including the outbreak.

Other violations included foods not being protected from cross-contamination, improperly sanitized equipment, and poor personal hygiene among employees due to inadequate handwashing facilities.

Ross said that the specific cause of the outbreak was not yet known, and the agency would have more information soon on when or whether the restaurant will reopen.

E. coli:  Marler Clark, The Food Safety Law Firm, is the nation’s leading law firm representing victims of E. coli outbreaks and hemolytic uremic syndrome (HUS). The E. coli lawyers of Marler Clark have represented thousands of victims of E. coli and other foodborne illness infections and have recovered over $600 million for clients. Marler Clark is the only law firm in the nation with a practice focused exclusively on foodborne illness litigation.  Our E. coli lawyers have litigated E. coli and HUS cases stemming from outbreaks traced to ground beef, raw milk, lettuce, spinach, sprouts, and other food products.  The law firm has brought E. coli lawsuits against such companies as Jack in the Box, Dole, ConAgra, Cargill, and Jimmy John’s.  We have proudly represented such victims as Brianne Kiner, Stephanie Smith and Linda Rivera.

If you or a family member became ill with an E. coli infection or HUS after consuming food and you’re interested in pursuing a legal claim, contact the Marler Clark E. coli attorneys for a free case evaluation.

Missouri E. coli Lawyers Attorneys and Lawsuits

The Missouri Department of Health and Senior Services (DHSS) is investigating an increase in cases of Shiga toxin-producing Escherichia coli (STEC) in Central Missouri during late March and early April, 2012. Five cases of E. coli O157:H7 have been identified during this time period. Two of the cases, a two-year old child and a seventeen-month old child, reportedly have developed hemolytic uremic syndrome (HUS), a severe, life-threatening condition that may result in permanent kidney damage in some of those who survive.

Marler Clark has been involved with other E. coli cases in Missouri:

E. coli Lawsuit filed against Schnucks and Vaughn Foods

Screen Shot 2011-12-27.pngAnother E. coli lawsuit will be filed today against grocery chain Schnucks Supermarkets and Oklahoma-based romaine lettuce distributor Vaughan Foods. According to a complaint filed in St. Louis County Circuit Court, 61-year old Charles Meyer ate romaine lettuce from a Cool Valley, Missouri Schnucks location on several occasions prior to October 24, 2011 when he began experiencing painful gastrointestinal symptoms indicative of an E. coli infection including bloody diarrhea. The symptoms persisted and Mr. Meyer visited the doctor’s office on October 26 where he was diagnosed with food poisoning and sent to the emergency room for treatment. While in the ER, Mr. Meyer gave a stool sample which ultimately tested positive for a strain of E. coli associated with an E. coli O157:H7 outbreak linked to romaine lettuce sold at Schnucks supermarkets. He was then admitted to St. John’s Mercy Hospital where he was treated until discharged on October 30.

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