Our team of Salmonella lawyers filed a lawsuit in the Salmonella Muenchen outbreak linked to the 2020 Gatlinburg Chili Cook-Off. Our clients contracted Salmonella infections after eating chili produced and served by the Hilton Garden Inn Gatlinburg, owned by River Road Operations.
More than 500 people attended the Gatlinburg Chili Cook-Off on November 12, 2020. Thirteen vendors participated in the cook-off, including the Hilton Garden Inn Gatlinburg.
Within days of the event, the Tennessee Department of Health (TDH) started receiving reports of gastrointestinal illnesses. An outbreak investigation found that raw ground pork sausage used as an ingredient in the chili prepared by the Hilton Garden Inn contained a strain of Salmonella Muenchen that was highly related to the outbreak strain.
The Salmonella outbreak sickened a total of 99 people from 19 states, including our clients. After eating food produced and served by the Hilton Garden Inn, our clients required medical attention for Salmonella symptoms, including the following.
- Intense stomach cramping
- Gastrointestinal pain
Salmonella Lawyers Call for Improved Food Safety Practices Ahead of 2021 Gatlinburg Chili Cook-Off
Ahead of the 2021 Gatlinburg Chili Cook-Off on November 11, the Pritzker Hageman Salmonella lawyers call for food producers to improve their food safety practices to protect consumers from harmful pathogens like Salmonella, E. coli, and Campylobacter. In their 2020 outbreak investigation, the TDH identified four critical food safety errors made by the Hilton Garden Inn Gatlinburg.
- Raw pork and beef were cooked in a hot-holding device not intended for cooking raw meat. As a result, the sausage was likely undercooked, allowing Salmonella bacteria to survive.
- The re-use of buckets to store undercooked and fully cooked chili likely contributed to cross-contamination.
- Heated chili was improperly cooled in buckets filled to the top, covered, and stacked inside a walk-in cooler immediately after cooling, allowing Salmonella bacteria to multiply.
- The buckets of chili were reheated in a warming device not intended for reheating food, allowing Salmonella bacteria to survive and multiply.
Salmonella lawyer Raymond Trueblood-Konz says, “It’s surprising that companies as sophisticated as a Hilton Garden Inn franchisee wouldn’t know how to properly cook pork sausage. All food producers, big and small, need to be careful about their food safety practices. It only takes one or a few mistakes to injure hundreds of people.”
Talk to an Experienced Salmonella Lawyer Before Time Runs Out
Because there are laws called “statutes of limitations” that may substantially limit the amount of time you have to file a claim, if you or a loved one contracted Salmonella food poisoning at the 2020 Gatlinburg Chili Cook-Off, you should talk to an experienced food safety lawyer as soon as possible. Trueblood-Konz says, “The law does not give victims much time to pursue their claims. We know there are other victims out there, but they may not have much time to get compensation and accountability for what they went through.”