Over a dozen people have become ill with E. coli O157:H7 infections in Oregon and Washington in the last month. The illnesses have now been traced to contaminated parsley consumed in at least two, and possibly more, restaurants. To date no recall has occurred.
William Marler of Marler Clark, the Seattle foodborne illness law firm, has been contacted by individuals sickened in this current outbreak, and hundreds of individuals sickened in other produce-related outbreaks in the past, including the recent E. coli O157:H7 outbreak tied to DOLE Lettuce.
“Over the last few years, the United States has been hit hard by contaminated produce. Just in the last years there has been a Hepatitis A outbreak linked to green onions, a Salmonella outbreak linked to tomatoes and several E. coli outbreaks tied to contaminated lettuce. The lesson is that all restaurants need to know where their fresh produce is coming from, and be careful to make sure that their suppliers are taking proper precautions to ensure the safety of the product,” said Marler.
“However, this is not the first time that Parsley specifically has been implicated in a bacterial outbreak,” added Marler. In 1998, according to the CDC, hundreds were sickened in California, Minnesota, Massachusetts and Canada after eating contaminated parsley.