October 2006

Woman died in E. coli outbreak

Marler Clark has filed a lawsuit in Sarpy County District Court on behalf of a Bellevue woman who died from complications of E. coli.

Attorney Bill Marler says 81-year-old Ruby Trautz died of acute kidney failure in late August. Trautz’s death has since been linked to the national E.

Salmonella bacteria can grow on tomato skin surfaces and infiltrate core tissues during tomato harvest, packing, and transportation. Dicing and pooling of contaminated tomatoes may play a role in further amplifying the amount of contaminated product. Contamination of internal tissue from the outer skin and stem scar can also occur during cutting and slicing. Finally, many Salmonella strains grow rapidly in cut tomatoes held at room temperature, enhancing the risk if tomatoes are maintained at room temperature for extended periods.

Salmonella outbreaks have previously been associated with raw tomatoes, which accordingly should have been recognized as a potential source of contamination. In 1990, a reported 174 Salmonella javiana illnesses, as part of a four state outbreak, were linked to raw tomatoes. In 1993, 84 reported cases of Salmonella Montevideo were part of a three state outbreak that was linked to raw tomatoes.


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The FDA has found nine positive E. coli O157:H7 samples from one of the four ranches implicated previously – several hundred environmental samples have been taken.  The samples have been found in cattle feces, a water sample and in the intestinal lining of a feral pig (YES, they killed the pig).  The positive samples from

When I was in Milwaukee Monday I had the chance to talk to the Rotary and to WTMJ News – here is part of the report on the station’s Spinach test for E. coli O157:H7 in bags of spinach off store shelves:

E. coli killed three people and made 200 others sick. The culprit: bagged