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E. coli attorney calls on FDA to increase funding to make produce safe

For Immediate Release

October 8, 2003

SEATTLE—Health officials suspect a recent outbreak of E. coli O157:H7 at four Pat & Oscars restaurants in San Diego to be linked to pre-mixed packaged lettuce served in salads at the restaurants. This finding has prompted William Marler, the Seattle attorney widely known for his representation of victims of foodborne illness, to call on the Food and Drug Administration to fund research to make fresh produce safe to be consumed by the public.

“The lettuce suspected to be the source of this most recent outbreak was ‘three-times pre-washed,’ but we have seen that washing lettuce isn’t enough to protect consumers from contaminated produce,” said Marler. “We cannot tolerate the risks that lettuce and other fresh produce may pose to the American public – especially the very young, the elderly, and individuals with weakened immune systems.”

In the January 2002 edition of Applied and Environmental Microbiology, scientists learned that “lettuce that has been fertilized with manure or irrigated with water contaminated with E. coli O157:H7 can take the bacteria up through its root system and internalize it inside the leaves, resisting traditional external sanitizing methods.”

Continue reading E. coli attorney calls on FDA to increase funding to make produce safe on the Marler Clark website.

More on this outbreak: Gold Coast Produce E. coli Outbreak

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