Outbreak Update (Mar. 30, 2017): There are now 29 confirmed cases, some of the E. coli cases are children from Montessori of Alameda in Portland, Oregon. Contact the lawyers at our national food safety law firm: 1-888-377-8900.
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) has updated their investigation into the E. coli O157:H7 – HUS outbreak linked to I.M. Healthy SoyNut Butter products. Now 16 people, mostly children, in 9 states are sick.
According to the CDC, at least 29 people (24 of them children) in 12 states are part of the E. coli outbreak linked to I.M. Healthy SoyNut Butter:
Arizona (4), California (5), Florida (1), Illinois (1), Massachusetts (1), Maryland (1), Missouri (1), New Jersey (1), Oregon (9), Virginia (2), Washington (2), and Wisconsin (1).
Of the 29 people sickened, 12 have been hospitalized, an increase of two patients. And nine people, all children, have developed hemolytic uremic syndrome (HUS), a type of kidney failure, an increase of one since the initial outbreak report was issued.
The I.M. Healthy SoyNut Outbreak Investigation
CDC officials have interviewed six more patients in this outbreak investigation. All of the fifteen people or their families who have been interviewed said that the patient ate either I.M. Healthy brand SoyNut Butter at home (9), attended a facility that served I.M. Healthy brand SoyNut Butter (2), or attended a childcare center that served I.M. Healthy brand SoyNut Butter and I.M. Healthy brand granola coated with SoyNut Butter (4). This epidemiological evidence indicates that I.M. Healthy brand SoyNut Butter is a “likely source” of the outbreak, according to the CDC.
Attorney Fred Pritzker, who has represented many clients sickened with E. coli O157:H7-HUS infections, said, “parents should never need to worry that the foods they feed their children could cause such serious illness. Products such as this peanut butter substitute that is served in schools and daycare centers should always be safe and wholesome.”
In this outbreak, illnesses began on dates that range from January 4, 2017 to February 21, 2017. The patient age range is from 2 to 48 years, with a median age of 10. No deaths have been reported.
The SoyNut Butter Company, manufacturer of the I.M. Healthy SoyNut Butter products, recalled all varieties of I.M. Healthy SoyNut Butters and all varieties of I.M. Healthy Granola products on March 7, 2017. Consumers should not eat, and institutions should not serve, any of these products, regardless of the date of purchase or the date on the container. These products have a long shelf life, and will be in consumers’ homes. If you have purchased any of these products, throw it away in a sealed container.
E. coli – HUS
This type of pathogenic bacteria produces compounds called Shiga toxins. The E. coli bacteria attach to the intestines and cause damage. The Shiga toxins they release travel into the bloodstream and destroy red blood cells. Those damaged cells can enter the kidneys and clog little tubes called glomeruli, causing kidney failure. This damage causes hemolytic uremic syndrome.
The symptoms of an E. coli infection include severe abdominal and stomach pains and cramps, diarrhea that may be bloody and/or watery, a mild fever, and possible vomiting and nausea. Symptoms usually begin a few days after ingesting the pathogenic bacteria.
If an E. coli infection is not treated properly, or if the patient is young or has an impaired immune system, HUS can develop as a complication. The symptoms of hemolytic uremic syndrome include greatly decreased urine output, pale skin, tiredness and lethargy, skin rash, small unexplained bruises, and bleeding from the nose or mouth.
Help for Children with Hemolytic Uremic Syndrome
Little ones who develop hemolytic uremic syndrome suffer incomprehensible pain and their little bodies have to fight hard to survive. Companies responsible for selling families contaminated food need to be held accountable.
Although children are not old enough to sue, their parents can. The money won in a settlement can pay for uncovered medical expenses and compensate a child for pain and suffering. In addition, money recovered can be placed in a trust for the child’s benefit so that there are funds available for future needs. This is extremely important because, even for those who “recover”, there is a risk of future kidney failure and the need for a transplant.
Attorneys Fred Pritzker, Brendan Flaherty and Lindsay Lien Rinholen recently won $7.55 million for a child with HUS. This is one of many cases we have handled.
Food Poisoning Lawsuit
If anyone in your family ate any I.M. Healthy SoyNut Butter product and is experiencing these symptoms, they should be taken to a doctor immediately. Then call our experienced attorneys for help. Our law firm can protect your legal rights and assist you through the difficult months and weeks ahead.
If your case can be linked to the suspect product, you can sue for compensation. The Pritzker Hageman law firm is one of a few in the country that specializes in food poisoning litigation.