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Suit Filed Against Maker of Spinach Linked to E. coli Outbreak

A New York woman sickened in the ongoing E. coli outbreak linked to a packaged spinach and spring mix is suing the producer of the contaminated greens.

Sandra Isaac, a resident of the Rochester area, became the first outbreak victim to file suit against State Garden, whose Spinach and Spring Garden Mix has been implicated as the source of the bacteria Tuesday.

According to the complaint, Isaac – a nurse at University Health’s St. Mary’s campus – ate the mixed greens October 16, 17, 18 and 19 in a variety of salads at work, before developing a gastrointestinal illness the evening of the 19th. After continuing to produce loose stools for several hours, she was forced to leave her nighttime shift early. Three days later, Isaac’s stool turned bloody and she began to vomit. Her husband rushed her to the emergency room, where she was treated for dehydration.

A CT scan taken at the hospital showed that Isaac’s colon had become badly inflamed and was bleeding.

Isaac was released from the hospital that day, but is still recovering from her illness at home, says the complaint, filed in district court with the Western District of New York by Marler Clark, the Seattle-based food safety firm that also underwrites Food Safety News.

Suspecting that Isaac’s illness might be associated with the state’s ongoing E. coli outbreak, officials from the New York State Department of Health collected a sample of the mixed greens she had been eating the previous week; the sample tested positive for the outbreak strain of E. coli O157:H7.

The product, which has so far been linked to 19 illnesses in New York state, was sold at Wegmans supermarkets in the Northeast between October 14 and November 1.

For more information about the recalled product, see Wegmans’ recall notice.

Isaacs is seeking compensation for pain and suffering, lost wages and pharmaceutical costs, among other damages.

© Food Safety News
  • E.Coli O157:H7 comes primarily from Cattle Manure.  Irrigation water is often contaminated by E.Coli O157:H7 due to poor manure management practices and reluctance by most producers of Cattle / Cows to vaccinate their livestock to reduce and / or eliminate daily shedding of  E.Coli O157:H7 which later can be easily transmitted into water (potable drinking water, irrigation water, recreational water).  So any word as to how the water used to grow the spinach was itself contaminated?  Have they been able to trace the “root cause” of the E.Coli O157:H7  back to a specific animal and / or herd responsible for this outbreak?