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Marler Blog Providing Commentary on Food Poisoning Outbreaks & Litigation

Second Salmonella Turkish Pine Nut Lawsuit filed in New York

Screen Shot 2011-11-15 at 3.03.22 PM.pngWe have filed another lawsuit on behalf of a Rochester-area mother and daughter who contracted Salmonella illnesses after consuming Turkish pine nuts imported by Delaware-based American Pistachio Commodity Corp. This the second Salmonella lawsuit filed by us in a 42-person outbreak linked to pine nuts sold to Wegman’s stores by American Pistachio, which operates under the name “Sunrise Commodities”.

According to the complaint filed in New York Federal District Court (attached PDF), Kimberly Waterbury of Webster, NY, purchased Turkish pine nuts at a local Wegmans grocery store in late August. In the days following purchase, Ms. Waterbury and her 16-year-old daughter consumed the pine nuts. On approximately August 31, the girl began developing gastrointestinal symptoms indicative of a Salmonella illness. The symptoms worsened until September 3, at which point the girl was taken to the emergency room. She was released that same day, but was forced to return to the ER on September 5. The complaint further states that Ms. Waterbury herself fell ill with a Salmonella infection on September 7. Health officials have notified the family that both illnesses have been linked to the multi-state Salmonella outbreak associated with Turkish pine nuts sold at Wegmans stores.

On November 3, 2011 the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention announced that at least 42 people across five states had been made ill with Salmonella Enteritidis infections. At the same time the U.S. Food and Drug Administration announced that Wegmans Food Markets had recalled 5,000 pounds of pine nuts imported from Turkey. Wegmans is not named in either lawsuit.

  • What should the food manufacturer have done differently to prevent the presence of the pathogen?