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Marler Blog Providing Commentary on Food Poisoning Outbreaks & Litigation

Experts fear spinach scare may dampen bagged salad market

Case Update:

146 cases of illness due to E. coli infection have been reported to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), including 23 cases of Hemolytic Uremic Syndrome (HUS), 76 hospitalizations, and one death. Illnesses continue to be reported to CDC.

As noted in this AP article (with 1 correction):

Seattle lawyer Bill Marler, who has represented dozens of clients in lawsuits connected to contaminated bagged leafy greens, said he’s representing more than 30 clients from 12 states over the current E. coli outbreak. He said he reached a settlement for his clients with the company (actually, it was several different companies – not including Natural Selection) in five previous cases, but could not reveal its terms.

Based on past experience, Marler said he suspected bacteria-tainted irrigation or flood water is probably behind the current outbreak.

"Plants like spinach and lettuce can absorb not just water but bacteria," Marler said. "All the washing and rinsing and triple washing and nice bags with smiley faces on them mean nothing because the product is then just a little tiny bomb waiting for someone to eat it."