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Marler Blog Providing Commentary on Food Poisoning Outbreaks & Litigation

E. coli in Arizona, Arkansas, Georgia, Illinois, Indiana, Kansas, Kentucky, Minnesota, Missouri, and Nebraska Linked to Romaine Lettuce from Vaughn Foods and “Farm A”

120_statemap.jpgIllnesses: 60 persons infected with the outbreak strain of E. coli O157:H7 have been reported from 10 states. The number of ill persons identified in each state is as follows: Arizona (1), Arkansas (2), Georgia (1), Illinois (9), Indiana (2), Kansas (3), Kentucky (1), Minnesota (3), Missouri (37), and Nebraska (1).

Traceback to “Root Cause”: The FDA and several state agencies conducted traceback investigations for romaine lettuce to try to identify the source of contamination. Traceback investigations focused on ill persons who had eaten at salad bars at several locations of grocery store Chain A (Schnucks) and ill persons at university campuses in Minnesota (1 ill person) and Missouri (2 ill persons). Traceback analysis determined that a single common lot of romaine lettuce harvested from Farm A was used to supply the grocery store Chain A (Schnucks) locations as well as the university campus in Minnesota during the time of the illnesses. This lot was also provided to a distributor (Vaughn Foods) that supplied lettuce to the university campus in Missouri, but records were not sufficient to determine if this lot was sent to this university campus. Preliminary findings of investigation at Farm A did not identify the source of the contamination. Farm A was no longer in production during the time of the investigation.

Let the subpoeans begin!