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Lawsuits & Litigation

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Egg man starts 3-month term as ‘responsible corporate official’

DeCoster's sentence begins 7 years after Salmonella outbreak that sickened up to 56,000 in U.S.

On Thanksgiving eve, 83-year-old Austin “Jack” DeCoster surrendered to federal prison authorities in Massachusetts, about 40 miles west of Boston. DeCoster traveled from his home in Turner, ME, about 170 miles north of the “administratively secure” Federal Medical Center – Devens (FMC Devens), a unit of the Federal Bureau of Prisons (BOP). The man who was once… Continue Reading

Chipotle stockholders’ suit says company, CDC kept secrets

Documents show CDC investigated 14 foodborne outbreaks linked to Chipotle, beginning in 2014

Stockholders’ attorneys say Chipotle Mexican Grill and federal officials knew about multiple foodborne illness outbreaks linked to the restaurant chain in 2014-15, but did not inform the public. Using Freedom of Information Act requests, the attorneys representing the Chipotle stockholders pressed the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention for details about the track record of… Continue Reading

Court says San Francisco’s soda pop warnings unconstitutional

Sweetened beverage advertisers in San Francisco won’t be forced to add an obesity warning to their labels and advertisements. A federal appellate court has ruled the warning mandate violates the U.S. Constitution. The City and County of San Francisco enacted the local law two years ago, requiring advertisers of certain sugar-sweetened beverages to include this statement… Continue Reading

Officials: Misuse of cheese, dispenser caused botulism outbreak

California report on April-May outbreak still pending; no action yet against business owner

As victims of botulism poisoning traced to gas station nacho cheese continue to deal with severe health problems four and a half months after becoming ill, California health officials are trying to decide whether to fine the gas station owner. The illnesses began in late April. The California Department of Public Health (CDPH) began its… Continue Reading

On the Border restaurant facing federal suit in Salmonella case

A Georgia couple has filed suit against On the Border Mexican Grill and Cantina alleging their Mother’s Day meal resulted in a Salmonella infection, a two-week hospital stay and lingering health problems that likely will never end. Amanda and Jason Cureton filed the civil suit in federal court in Atlanta on Aug. 29. The Marietta,… Continue Reading

Quorn agrees to change labels to reveal main ingredient is mold

Described by critics as being made from “vat-grown fungus,” Quorn Foods Inc. products are getting new labels prominently declaring they contain mold. The new label language is part of a class action settlement agreement between the company and a woman who filed a civil lawsuit on behalf of herself and anyone else in the United States… Continue Reading

Federal court upholds Seafood Traceability Rule; targets fraud

Big business, lobbyists say it's too costly to make sure the fish they sell is what the labels say it is

A new federal plan to combat seafood fraud by requiring the fishing industry to trace their catches from boat or farm to the U.S. border has survived a court challenge. The Seafood Traceability Rule surfaced during President Barack Obama’s final days in office and is scheduled to take effect on Jan. 1, 2018. For the… Continue Reading

Restaurant menus now likely to contain calorie counts by 2018

The Affordable Care Act is intact, Bill de Blasio is on hold, and FDA Commissioner Scott Gottlieb is on board. That means big restaurants’ menus might yet be required to include calorie counts under federal regulations. Let’s take these developments one at a time. Legal authority for menu labeling rests in that much-maligned but politically durable Affordable… Continue Reading