Can I Sue for Salmonella from Coconut in a Drink Served at a Restaurant?

You can sue for Salmonella from coconut if there is evidence connecting your illness to Coconut Tree Brand frozen shredded coconut. If a restaurant is involved, you may have a lawsuit against the restaurant, the distributor, and others.

Our Salmonella lawyers are investigating the outbreak linked to the  that has sickened at least 25 people in 9 states: California (9), Colorado (1), Connecticut (1), Massachusetts (2), New Jersey (1), New York (1), Oklahoma (1), Pennsylvania (5), and Washington (4).

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CDC Map Showing Location of Outbreak Victims

Coconut Salmonella Outbreak CDCGiven the widespread distribution of the implicated coconut product, these numbers may grow in the coming weeks. It can take several weeks after a report of illness for the CDC to confirm that it is part of an outbreak.

Salmonella Outbreak Linked to Coconut

This is an urgent message regarding an outbreak of Salmonella food poisoning (salmonellosis) linked to Coconut Tree brand shredded coconut, at least some of which may have been distributed by Evershing International Trading Company, which has issued a recall (see below). The CDC and FDA have acknowledged this multistate outbreak of Salmonella infections.

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The evidence connecting this product to the outbreak includes the following:

  • DNA (genetic) fingerprinting tests performed on Salmonella bacteria isolated from ill people and on samples of the Coconut Tree product;
  • statistical data gathered by state and local health officials in interviews with people sickened in the outbreak; and
  • traceback evidence, which includes information regarding the distributor.

Genetic Testing of Salmonella Bacteria

The DNA testing showed that isolates from people infected with Salmonella I 4,[5],12:b:- are closely related genetically. This close genetic relationship means that people in this outbreak are more likely to share a common source of infection, which the CDC has announced is most likely Coconut Tree brand shredded coconut, in most cases consumed in an Asian drink served at a restaurant.

Illnesses started on dates ranging from May 11, 2017 to November 4, 2017. The age of people sickened ranges from 1 year to 82, and the median age of those sickened is 19. Nineteen of the people sickened (76%) are male. Six people (24%) reported being hospitalized.

To date, 25 people infected with the outbreak strains of Salmonella I 4,[5],12:b:- (24 people) or Salmonella Newport (1 person) have been reported from nine states, including California, Colorado, Connecticut, Massachusetts, New Jersey, New York, Oklahoma, Pennsylvania, and Washington. It is possible that this number may grow.

Interviews of Outbreak Victims

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The first step in the investigation involved interviews with some of the people sickened in the outbreak. They answered questions about the foods they ate, where they ate them and other possible exposures to Salmonella bacteria during the week before they first experienced symptoms of illness.

“Ten (63%) of 16 people interviewed reported eating or maybe eating coconut. Of these 10 people, 8 (80%) reported having an Asian-style dessert drink that contained frozen shredded coconut.”CDC

The drinks containing coconut were served at restaurants. If you drank a smoothie or other dessert drink containing coconut and were diagnosed with Salmonella food poisoning, you should contact our law firm for a free consultation.

Food Testing Implicates Coconut in Asian-Style Dessert Drinks Served at Restaurants

Testing has been done on several food from restaurants where ill people consumed Asian-style dessert drinks. This is the information from the CDC that we have to date:

  • In November 2017, laboratory testing of a sample from coconut milk made in one restaurant in New York did not identify the outbreak strain of Salmonella I 4,[5],12:b:-, but did identify a strain of Salmonella Newport. This sample was from coconut milk made with Coconut Tree Brand frozen Shredded Coconut, as well as other ingredients. genetic testing showed that the Salmonella Newport isolated from the coconut milk was closely related genetically to a Salmonella Newport isolate from an ill person from Massachusetts who had consumed an Asian-style dessert drink at a Boston restaurant.
  • In December 2017, the Massachusetts Department of Public Health collected food items from the Boston restaurant where that ill person had consumed Asian-style dessert drinks. One sample from frozen shredded coconut identified a strain of Salmonella that was new to the PulseNet database and has not been linked to any illnesses. This sample was from an unopened package of Coconut Tree Brand Frozen Shredded Coconut. As a result, on January 3, 2018, Evershing International Trading Company recalled all Coconut Tree Brand Frozen Shredded Coconut. The recalled product was packaged in 16-ounce plastic bags.
  • Officials in Massachusetts returned to the restaurant and collected more Coconut Tree Brand frozen Shredded Coconut in January 2018. On January 12, laboratory testing confirmed that samples from that frozen shredded coconut identified the outbreak strain of Salmonella I 4,[5],12:b:-. Laboratory testing of other samples identified several types of Salmonella bacteria, including Salmonella Javiana, Salmonella Rissen, and SalmonellaThompson. These samples were from unopened packages of Coconut Tree Brand Frozen Shredded Coconut sold before January 3, 2018.

The frozen shredded coconut linked to this outbreak was used as an ingredient in Asian-style dessert drinks served at restaurants. The product was also sold in grocery stores and markets in several states.

Evershing International Trading Company Recall of Coconut Tree Brand Frozen Shredded Coconut

In response to Salmonella bacteria testing results, Evershing International Trading Company recalled Coconut Tree brand frozen shredded coconut, sold in 16 oz. plastic packages. This product was distributed in Ohio, Massachusetts, Washington, California, and Oklahoma, with redistribution to Illinois, Michigan, New Jersey, New York Pennsylvania, Oregon, Florida, and Texas.

This is a complete recall of all Coconut Tree Brand Frozen Shredded Coconut currently on the market. If you have frozen coconut in your freezer, check to see if it is this brand. If so, the CDC recommends throwing it out. If you suspect that someone was sickened by this product, that person may be entitled to compensation. You can contact our law firm about a lawsuit involving this Salmonella recall at 1-888-377-8900 (toll-free) or use the form on this page.

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Category: Food Poisoning
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