Salmonella Lawyer Salmonella Attorney

Screen Shot 2017-06-28 at 5.11.16 PMBeing in New Zealand, some 17 hours and a day ahead of the U.S. Midwest, should have given me a slight advantage of knowing what was happening in the U.S., but I missed a call from AP’s David Pitt for a comment on a court ruling that is making food executives take notice.

As David wrote, the U.S. Supreme Court declined in May to hear the appeals of Austin “Jack” DeCoster and his son, Peter DeCoster, without comment. Both have been sentenced by U.S. District Judge Mark Bennett to serve three months in prison. The sentences jarred the food and drug manufacturing industry because it’s rare that corporate officials are held personally responsible for an outbreak of foodborne illness.

Bennett in his 68-page sentencing opinion filed in April 2015 concluded that prison time was necessary to deter officials from marketing unsafe food.

“Given the defendants’ careless oversight and repeated violations of safety standards, there is an increased likelihood that these offenses, or offenses like these, could happen again,” he wrote. “The punishment will also serve to effectively deter against the marketing of unsafe foods and widespread harm to public health by similarly situated corporate officials and other executives in the industry.”

Last week Bennett ordered 53-year-old Peter DeCoster to report to the Federal Prison Camp in Yankton, South Dakota, a minimum security facility that is about 200 miles west of his home in Clarion, Iowa. DeCoster must surrender himself to authorities after July 30 when he is notified by the U.S. Bureau of Prisons the facility is ready to receive him.

His 83-year-old father Austin “Jack” DeCoster must serve his three-month term 30 days after Peter is released. He must report to the Federal Correctional Institution in Berlin, New Hampshire, a location Bennett approved at DeCoster’s request. DeCoster, who says he has several medical issues including prostate cancer, has moved from Iowa to Maine and the medium-security prison camp is about 70 miles from his home.

The DeCosters, who have already paid $100,000 each in criminal penalties, also owe $83,000 in restitution, according to court documents. Quality Egg paid a $6.8 million fine after pleading guilty to felony charges of shipping eggs with false processing and expiration dates and bribing a U.S. Department of Agriculture inspector to approve sales of poor-quality eggs.

NOTICE OF SENTENCING HEARING as to STEWART PARNELL, MICHAEL PARNELL, SAMUEL LIGHTSEY, MARY WILKERSON: Sentencing set for 9/21/2015 10:00 AM in Albany before US DISTRICT JUDGE W LOUIS SANDS. (jbk) (Entered: 07/16/2015)

NOTICE OF SENTENCING HEARING as to SAMUEL LIGHTSEY: Sentencing RESET for 10/1/2015 03:00 PM in Albany before US DISTRICT JUDGE W LOUIS SANDS. (jbk) (Entered: 07/16/2015)

NOTICE OF SENTENCING HEARING as to Daniel Kilgore: Sentencing set for 10/1/2015 03:00 PM in Albany before US DISTRICT JUDGE W LOUIS SANDS. (jbk) (Entered: 07/16/2015)

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Screen Shot 2015-07-16 at 3.57.56 AMAspen Foods, A Division of Koch Poultry Company, a Chicago, Ill. establishment, is recalling approximately 1,978,680 pounds of frozen, raw, stuffed and breaded chicken product that may be contaminated with Salmonella Enteritidis, the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s Food Safety and Inspection Service (FSIS) announced today.

The frozen, raw, stuffed and breaded chicken items were produced between April 15, 2015 and July 10, 2015 with “best if used by” dates between July 14, 2016 and October 10, 2016. To view a full list of recalled products, please click here.

The product subject to recall bears the establishment number “P-1358” inside the USDA mark of inspection. This product was shipped to retail stores and food service locations nationwide.

FSIS was notified of a cluster of Salmonella Enteritidis illnesses on June 23, 2015. Working in conjunction with Minnesota State Departments of Health and Agriculture, FSIS determined that there is a link between the frozen, raw, stuffed and breaded chicken products from Aspen Foods and this illness cluster. Based on epidemiological evidence and traceback investigations, three case-patients have been identified in Minnesota with illness onset dates ranging from May 9, 2015 to June 8, 2015. FSIS continues to work with the Minnesota Departments of Health and Agriculture as well as the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention on this investigation.

In 2014 Minnesota Public health and agriculture investigators in identified 6 cases of Salmonella Enteriditis linked to consumption of Antioch Farms brand A La Kiev raw stuffed chicken breast. Illness onsets occurred in August and September 2014. The outbreak strain was isolated in packages purchased at grocery stores.

In addition, similar products were linked to Salmonella outbreaks in 2005 S. Heidelberg2005-6 S. Enteritidis and 2006-S. Typhimurium.

Babrber_Foods_Chicken_Kiev_USDA_large-300x237The Minnesota Department of Health and the Minnesota Department of Agriculture, along with CDC and the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s Food Safety and Inspection Service (USDA-FSIS), are investigating two outbreaks of Salmonella Enteritidis infections linked to raw, frozen, breaded and pre-browned stuffed chicken entrees.

In one outbreak, four people infected with a strain of Salmonella Enteritidis have been reported from Minnesota. Two of these ill people have been hospitalized. No deaths have been reported.

In the second outbreak, three people infected with a different strain of Salmonella Enteritidis have been reported from Minnesota. Two of these ill people have been hospitalized. No deaths have been reported.

On July 1, 2015, USDA-FSIS issued a public health alert due to concerns about illnesses caused by Salmonella that may be associated with raw, frozen, breaded and pre-browned, stuffed chicken products.

USDA-FSIS advises all consumers to safely prepare and cook these products. Read more on the Advice to Consumers page.

As a result of the first investigation, on July 2, 2015, Barber Foods recalled approximately 58,320 pounds of Chicken Kiev because it may be contaminated with Salmonella Enteritidis.

The product subject to recall includes a 2 lb.-4 oz. box containing six individually pouched pieces of “Barber Foods Premium Entrees Breaded-Boneless Raw Stuffed Chicken Breasts with Rib Meat Kiev” with use by/sell by dates of April 28, 2016, May 20, 2016, and July 21, 2016.

In 2014 Minnesota Public health and agriculture investigators in identified 6 cases of Salmonella Enteriditis linked to consumption of Antioch Farms brand A La Kiev raw stuffed chicken breast. Illness onsets occurred in August and September 2014. The outbreak strain was isolated in packages purchased at grocery stores.

In addition, similar products were linked to Salmonella outbreaks in 2005 S. Heidelberg2005-6 S. Enteritidis and 2006-S. Typhimurium.

Sprouts:  Today, according to CDC, a total of 17 persons infected with the outbreak strain of Shiga toxin-producing Escherichia coli O121 (STEC O121) have been reported from five states. The number of ill persons identified in each state is as follows:  Idaho (3), Michigan (1), Montana (2), Utah (1), and Washington (10).  Forty-seven percent of ill persons have been hospitalized.

Because contaminated sprouts may still be available on the market, CDC recommends that consumers do not eat any raw clover sprouts produced by Evergreen Fresh Sprouts. The Washington State Department of Health and the Idaho Department of Health and Welfare are also advising people not to eat raw clover sprouts produced by Evergreen Fresh Sprouts.

Also, according to CDC, from April 12 to July 5, 2011, a total of 25 persons infected with the outbreak strain of Salmonella Enteritidis have been reported from five states. Results of the investigation indicate a link to eating alfalfa sprouts and spicy sprouts manufactured by Evergreen Fresh Sprouts. On July 1, 2011, Evergreen Fresh Sprouts LLC of Moyie Springs, Idaho, announced a recall of specific lots of alfalfa sprouts and spicy sprouts because these products have the potential to be contaminated with Salmonella.

This year, FDA conducted an inspection of the Evergreen Fresh Sprouts facility on May 22-23, 2014; May 27-30, 2014; and June 6, 2014. During the inspection, FDA investigators observed a number of unsanitary conditions, including condensate and irrigation water dripping from rusty valves; a rusty and corroded mung bean room watering system; tennis rackets that had “scratches, chips, and frayed plastic” used to scoop mung bean sprouts; a pitchfork with corroded metal being used to transfer mung bean sprouts; and a squeegee with visible corroded metal and non-treated wood being used to agitate mung bean sprouts inside a soak vat.

Chia Seeds and Powder:  The CDC reports today that as of June 9, 2014, a total of 21 ill persons infected with the outbreak strains of Salmonella Newport (13 persons), Salmonella Hartford (6 persons), or Salmonella Oranienburg (2 persons) have been reported from 12 states. The number of ill persons identified in each state is as follows: Arizona (1), California (3), Colorado (1), Connecticut (3), Florida (1), Massachusetts (1), Michigan (1), New York (4), Ohio (1), Utah (1), Washington (1), and Wisconsin (3).  Two ill persons infected with a strain of Salmonella Oranienburg have been identified in two U.S. states.  Through product testing and interviews with ill people, these illnesses have been combined with the Salmonella Newport and Salmonella Hartford infections previously identified as part of this investigation.

Collaborative investigation efforts of state, local, and federal public health and regulatory agencies indicate that organic sprouted chia powder is the likely source of this outbreak.  Chia powder is made from ground dried chia seeds.

On June 4, 2014, Health Matters America, Inc., recalled products that contain sprouted chia seed powder and sprouted chia/flax seed powder due to possible Salmonella contamination.  On June 6, 2014, Navitas Naturals expanded their existing recall to include additional expiration dates of products containing organic sprouted chia powder.

The Public Health Agency of Canada is collaborating with Provincial public health partners, the Canadian Food Inspection Agency, and Health Canada to investigate 34 Canadian cases of Salmonella infection linked to the consumption of sprouted chia seed powder. In Canada, two strains of Salmonella have been associated with this outbreak: Salmonella Newport and Salmonella Hartford. In total, 34 cases have been reported in British Columbia (6), Alberta (4), Ontario (22) and Quebec (2). Five cases have been hospitalized; four cases have been discharged and have recovered or are recovering. The status of one case was not provided to the Agency. No deaths have been reported. The investigation is ongoing but currently, 19 of 19 cases that have been interviewed have reported consumption of sprouted chia seeds or sprouted chia seed powder, and 16 of 19 cases specifically report sprouted chia seed powder.

As a part of this investigation, the Canadian Food Inspection Agency has issued food recall warnings for various products containing sprouted chia seeds and sprouted chia seed powder under the brands Organic Traditions, Back 2 the Garden, Intuitive Path SuperFoods, Harmonic Arts Botanical Dispensary, Naturallyorganic, and Pete’s Gluten Free. These products have been recalled and are being removed from the marketplace due to possible Salmonella contamination.

 

After two Salmonella outbreaks (sickened over 500) linked to its plants that caused no shutdown, and an infestation of cockroaches (sickening zero) that caused a shutdown, according to today’s Foster Farms press release, Foster Farms resumed operations at its Livingston, Calif., poultry plant this morning, Wednesday, Jan. 22. All plant employees have been called back to work. The company put a voluntary hold on plant operations Sunday, January 12, to dedicate additional time to ensuring that its preventative plan was fully realized with the most effective treatment protocols in place.

Production was temporarily shifted to Foster Farms’ other Calif., facilities during this time as Foster Farms brought full attention to implementing its USDA-FSIS-approved preventative plan in Livingston. With all employees now back to work, Foster Farms expects to add weekend shifts and provide overtime to hourly plant employees in the coming weeks.

Foster Farms President Ron Foster commented, “Although this has been a challenging time, we remain committed to the highest level of quality and food safety through all aspects of our plant operations and will emerge a stronger company.”

What about the sickened consumers?  And, where did the cockroaches go?

According to a press release, the Pennsylvania Department of Health was the first to advise consumers that Trader Joe’s Valencia Creamy Salted Peanut Butter made with sea salt may be related to a multi-state outbreak of Salmonella Bredeney.  The department is working with the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and public health officials in several states to investigate the outbreak. Nationally, there have been 29 cases of illness with two cases reported in Pennsylvania.

  • A Rhode Islander with a Salmonella infection is one of the 29 people nationwide linked to a Trader Joe’s brand product, the R.I. Department of Health said Friday in a warning to consumers.
  • The Massachusetts Department of Public Health (DPH) claims three Salmonella victims in the outbreak.
  • Maryland has one reported case, a child under 18 who was not hospitalized and has recovered.
  • New York Department of Health reports one Salmonella case.

Trader Joe’s has voluntarily removed the product for sale from its stores; however, consumers who have the product in their homes should discard it and should also be aware that this product is sold online through other retail outlets.

Suspected in the outbreak are 16-ounce containers with “use by” dates of May 23, 2013 and June 28, 2013. Anyone who recently became ill with diarrhea or vomiting after consuming the product is advised to consult a doctor.

And, who can forget the last two peanut butter Salmonella outbreaks:

ConAgra Peter Pan & Great Value Peanut Butter Salmonella Outbreak Lawsuit – Nationwide (2006-2007)

Peanut Corporation of America Peanut Butter Salmonella Outbreak Lawsuits – Nationwide (2008-2009)