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Marler Blog Providing Commentary on Food Poisoning Outbreaks & Litigation

Retailers, like Trader Joe’s, need to be accountable when they sell customers tainted, like E. coli, food

Trader Joe’s and Glass Onion Catering is facing 5 lawsuits brought on behalf of alleged victims of a 2013 E. coli outbreak. Public health officials traced the E. coli outbreak to salads made by Glass Onion Catering and sold at the grocery chain.

According to attorney Bill Marler, whose law firm represents 6 plaintiffs who allege that they fell ill with E. coli infections after eating salads sold at Trader Joe’s, the company was added as a defendant to two lawsuits previously filed against salad-maker Glass Onion Catering in California and in 3 new lawsuits filed Wednesday in California and Washington state. The plaintiffs allege in the lawsuits that Glass Onion Catering and Trader Joe’s sold food that was “not fit for human consumption, and not reasonably safe because it was contaminated with E. coli O157:H7”.

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, U.S. Food and Drug Administration and state and local health departments counted 33 people from 4 states who were confirmed ill with E. coli infections after consuming Glass Onion Catering salads and wraps sold at Trader Joe’s and other retail outlets in October and November of 2013. Two people, including one of the plaintiffs, developed hemolytic uremic syndrome, a complication of E. coli infection that can cause kidney failure and central nervous system impairment.

“Retailers need to be held accountable for what they sell,” said attorney Bill Marler. “In my opinion, over the last two decades retailers have begun to care less about the safety of what they sell just as long as it sells.  Retailers now try to push blame for the sale of tainted food that sickens customers onto everyone but the retailer. That needs to stop.”