Last week, the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) reported that two different companies issued food product recalls after epidemiologic investigations linked Salmonella Panama infections to specific cantaloupe shipments from Del Monte Fresh Produce and E coli O157;H7 infections to Lebanon bologna manufactured by Palmyra Bologna Company. They received reports that 12 patients in four states-Oregon (5 cases), Washington (4 cases), California (2 cases), and Maryland (1 case)–fell ill as a result of Salmonella Panama. According to investigations, all but one of the ill patients ate cantaloupe in the week prior to falling ill and all 10 ate cantaloupe purchased at seven separate Costco locations. The other 14 infections connected to the E. coli outbreak involved patients from five states-Maryland (3 cases), New Jersey (2 cases), North Carolina (1 case), Ohio (2 cases), and Pennsylvania (6 cases)-as of March 22, 20011. The bologna recall was categorized as a Class I, which means it represents a health hazard situation in which there is a reasonable probability that the use of the defective product will cause serious, adverse health consequences or death.
Both Salmonella and E coli cause abdominal cramps and diarrhea-in some cases the symptoms may be so severe that the patient needs to be hospitalized. The elderly, infirm, infants, and those with impaired immune systems are more likely to develope a severe illness from these infections. Anyone who thinks they may have become ill from eating possibly contaminated food should consult their health care provider. If you or a loved one became ill due to eating tainted food, contact our food safety attorney today. We have over 10 experience helping victims of defective or contaminated products win the compensation they deserve.