Alfalfa sprouts produced by Jack & The Green Sprouts of River Falls, Wisconsin, “are the likely source” of an outbreak of E. coli O157 in Minnesota and Wisconsin, where nine people have been sickened. Two of the victims were hospitalized, but every case patient in this outbreak has standing to sue Jack & The Green Sprouts for selling defective, contaminated products into a food system that depends on safety by producers.
The U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention recommends that restaurants, grocery stores, salad bars, food cooperatives and other retailers purchase sprouts from sprouters that follow the FDA Guidance for Reducing Microbial Food Safety Hazards for Sprouted Seeds. Was Jack & The Green Sprouts in compliance with that guidance? E. coli lawyers at our law firm are investigating.
Our law firm is based in downtown Minneapolis. Our Bad Bug Law Team has won tens of millions of dollars for E. coli food poisoning victims while representing clients in virtually every major outbreak of foodborne illness. Even if your case was not severe, it still may deserve the attention of a good lawyer. Contact us for a free consultation.
Did you know?
Toxic E. coli infections can lead to long-term health deficits deserving of compensation . Among other impairments, medical studies of E. coli outbreak case patients have demonstrated elevated risks for hypertension later in life. That’s because toxic E. coli types like O157:NM can damage the host’s vascular system. Initial research has shown that all E. coli victims are at risk for future kidney impairment, neurological damage, diabetes, and various forms of gastrointestinal disease.
“We’re letting food safety violators off the hook if we do not factor in the true, long-term costs of these outbreaks,” said Fred Pritzker.
The public health investigation into this alfalfa sprouts investigation found that 100 percent of the eight case patients interviewed by epidemiologists reported eating or maybe eating alfalfa sprouts or menu items containing alfalfa sprouts in the week before they became ill in January and February. State and local health officials performed traceback investigations from seven different locations where ill people ate or bought alfalfa sprouts. These investigations indicated that Jack & The Green Sprouts supplied alfalfa sprouts to all seven locations. Illnesses started on dates ranging from January 17, 2016 to February 8, 2016. Last week, Jack & the Green Sprouts announced a related recall on its Facebook page: “Out of abundance caution we are voluntarily recalling Alfalfa and Alfalfa Onion sprouts.”
Minneapolis-St. Paul has been a hotspot in this outbreak. Most Minnesota cases are from the Twin Cities, but three cases are from non-metro places in Greater Minnesota. In addition, at least two people in Wisconsin also were sickened by the outbreak strain of E. coli, according to the CDC. The Minnesota Department of Health has said the extent of the product contamination is unknown. But, based on the information collected to date, health officials recommend not eating any alfalfa sprouts produced by Jack & The Green Sprouts. Currently, there is no evidence that other products produced by Jack & The Green Sprouts are contaminated, the Health Department said.