“What we’re seeing here is yet another E. coli outbreak linked to pre-packaged, ready-to-eat food that is supposed to be organic, natural, GMO-free and good for you.  Instead, we’ve seen at least 26 E. coli cases, including 2 cases of hemolytic uremic syndrome,” said food safety advocate and attorney Bill Marler.  “Consumers deserve better.”

In a lawsuit filed Thursday, a Sonoma County woman alleges she fell ill with an E. coli infection and was hospitalized after eating a salad manufactured by Glass Onion Catering.  The lawsuit was filed in Sonoma County Superior Court by Seattle-based Marler Clark, the nation’s leading law firm representing victims of foodborne illness, and San Diego-based Gordon & Holmes.  This is the first lawsuit filed against Glass Onion Catering, the company whose salads and wraps have been identified as the source of an E. coli outbreak among residents of 3 states. [1]

According to the complaint, Nancy Gruchawka consumed a salad manufactured by Glass Onion Catering on October 15, 2013.  She allegedly fell ill with symptoms of E. coli infection on October 18 and was admitted to Santa Rosa Memorial hospital for treatment on October 30.  Ms. Gruchawka’s attorneys assert that a stool sample obtained while she was hospitalized tested positive for a strain of E. coli O157:H7 that was an indistinguishable match to the Glass Onion Catering outbreak strain.  Although Ms. Gruchawka was released from the hospital after one day of treatment, the complaint alleges that she continues to suffer from the symptoms of her E. coli infection.

As of November 12, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention had received reports of 26 E. coli cases traced to Glass Onion products; 22 of those cases had been reported among California residents.[1]  Glass Onion Catering has recalled its salads and wraps sold at Walgreens, Trader Joe’s and Whole Foods stores.[2]

BACKGROUND:  Marler Clark has represented thousands of victims of E. coli and other foodborne illness outbreaks since the 1993 Jack in the Box E. coli outbreak (Pierce County Superior Court Case No. 93-2-00930-1).  The law firm has recovered over $600 million for victims of not only E. coli, Salmonella, Listeria and hepatitis A outbreaks.

1. See, “Multistate Outbreak of Shiga toxin-producing Escherichia coli O157:H7 Infections Linked to Ready-to-Eat Salads”.  Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.  November 12, 2013.

2. See, “California Firm Recalls Grilled Chicken Salad Products Due To Possible E. coli O157:H7 Contamination.”  United States Department of Agriculture.  November 10, 2013.

And “Atherstone Foods Voluntarily Recalls Salads and Wraps Because of Possible Health Risk.”  U.S. Food and Drug Administration.  November 9, 2013.