The recent E.coli O157: H7 outbreak associated with romaine lettuce has led OFT Food Safety Lawyers to file a first of its kind lawsuit. The lawsuit was filed in Circuit Court of Milwaukee Country (File No. 2019 CV 009273) on December 5, 2019. The complainant got an E.coli infection from eating lettuce bought from Pick ‘n Save Kenosha branch in Wisconsin. She was sequentially diagnosed with a fatal complication associated with the same E.coli infection; hemolytic uremic syndrome (HUS) which causes kidney failure. The lawsuit names the parent company of Pick ‘n Save; Roundy’s Supermarket Inc. as a defendant.
Among other strains of E.coli O157: H7 (STEC) is the most prevalent in causing foodborne illness. It produces one of the most potent bacterial toxins; Shiga Toxin and is associated with a hemolytic uremic syndrome which ultimately causes acute renal failure and thrombotic thrombocytopenic purpura (TTP) or many other related diseases. STEC infection may be asymptomatic; it typically begins with watery diarrhea that is often associated with abdominal pain and sometimes with nausea and vomiting.
OFT Food Safety & Injury Lawyer, Brendan Flaherty claims that the outbreak is concerned with the industry and considered it as a root cause. According to him, the reported cases of E. coli infection in romaine have been shocking. The root cause analysis and field-to-fork changes are required to stop this. The outbreak associated with lettuce has sickened more than 190 people, five of whom died.
Ryan Osterholm, Food Safety & Injury Lawyer, says that the clients demand the help to stop the future outbreaks. According to him, it is the fifth outbreak of E.coli associated with leafy vegetables, its cause must be stopped. He is working to find a root cause of this problem and to know how lettuce can be life-threatening for their client.
OFT Lawyers, with experience of more than four decades, have recovered millions by food poisoning victims. Their team includes an experienced Wisconsin food safety & injury lawyer, attorney Lindsay Lien Rinholen. Lawyers are working on these outbreaks so the tragic loss of lives can be prevented. The investigation is ongoing to find out the source of contamination and factors that are linked to illness.
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People are taking steps to protect their legal rights and it’s necessary to stop the problem. Corporate wrongdoers need to be held accountable for making people sick and threatening their lives. Awareness spread is important and law firms are now working on it, discussing food safety and litigation against the wrongdoers.
Understanding of the pathogenesis of STEC-associated HUS is important to avoid the problem. Efforts are being done that have contributed to the understanding of the epidemiology and the pathogenesis of STEC, and the state of knowledge regarding treatment and prevention of HUS is discussed. Although no specific therapy yet exists, interventions are being done to prevent and treat the outbreaks.
For prevention, control measures are required at all stages, from farm to processing, preparation, and production at both commercial level and household kitchen level. Outbreaks can be reduced by way adapting mitigation strategies; from slaughtering to handling, and proper cooking. The best way to avoid outbreaks is to follow good food hygiene practices, as described in the WHO’s manual Five keys to safer food.