When The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) released a report last week citing romaine lettuce as the source of a multi-state 60-person E. coli O157:H7 outbreak linked to Schnucks supermarkets, it indicated that the E. coli O157:H7 contamination most likely occurred before the lettuce reached Schnucks stores. While the CDC did not name any companies that handled the lettuce before it reached Schnucks, it stated in the report that the lettuce came from a single farm, was processed at a single facility, and was supplied to Schnucks by a single distributor.
In an effort to unearth these details, last week, Marler Clark, the nation’s leading law firm representing victims of E. coli outbreaks, asked Schnucks to disclose the name of its lettuce supplier. Today, the firm has learned the identity of the distributor in question: Vaughan Foods of Moore, Oklahoma. Last week the firm also filed a lawsuit against Schnucks on behalf of a woman who was hospitalized with E. coli O157:H7, and is now adding Vaughan Foods to that claim. Vaughan’s was added to complaint.