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Marler Blog Providing Commentary on Food Poisoning Outbreaks & Litigation

First Salmonella Lawsuit filed against Sunrise Commodities in New York

The Food and Drug Administration (FDA) is warning consumers not to eat Turkish pine nuts distributed by Sunrise Commodities, based in Englewood Cliffs, New Jersey, after FDA tests confirmed the presence of Salmonella on the product.

Screen Shot 2011-11-10 at 8.56.58 AM.pngFDA is collaborating with the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) and State public health and agriculture officials to investigate a multistate outbreak of Salmonella Enteritidis infections. To date, the CDC reports there are at least 42 illnesses associated with the outbreak in Maryland, New Jersey, New York, Pennsylvania and Virginia.

As part of FDA’s investigation, the Agency collected samples of Turkish pine nuts from a warehouse used by Sunrise Commodities. Additional testing is underway on FDA’s Salmonella positive samples of pine nuts to determine if the Salmonella detected matches the outbreak strain. FDA’s State partners also collected samples of pine nuts distributed by Sunrise Commodities; some of those samples tested positive for Salmonella and matched the outbreak strain.  

Sunrise Commodities has voluntarily recalled four lots of the implicated product, totaling more than 21,000 pounds of pine nuts. Each lot was packed in 22-pound boxes and included the markings:

    Warehouse Lot 27963 with the identifying code “PO#: 50165”
    Warehouse Lot 29628 with the identifying code “PO#: 50558”
    Warehouse Lot 27713 with the identifying code “PO#: 49595”
    Warehouse Lot 27427 with the identifying code “PO#: 50032”

Sunrise Commodities distributed the Turkish pine nuts in bulk to various food vendors in Florida, New Jersey, New York and Canada. Sunrise Commodities issued a recall notification to its customers dated November 3, 2011, alerting them of the test results and of the epidemiologic investigation and asking them to notify their subsequent customers of the recall.

We filed suit in Upstate New York today – Complaint PDF.