MINNEAPOLIS, Sept. 3, 2020 /PRNewswire/ -- The lawyers at OFT Food Safety & Injury Lawyers filed the first lawsuit arising out of the multistate Salmonella outbreak linked to fresh peaches from Prima Wawona or Wawona Packing Company LLC, a Fresno, California-based peach processor. The suit was filed on behalf of a 4-year-old girl in federal court for the District of Minnesota (Court File No. 20-cv-1888).
The outbreak of Salmonella Enteritidis has sickened at least 78 people in 12 states, according to the CDC. The Minnesota Department of Health reports that 23 Minnesotans have tested positive for this strain of Salmonella in recent weeks. Though Minnesota has reported the highest number of infections, public health authorities in Michigan, Iowa, New York, Wisconsin, Pennsylvania, New Jersey, Maryland, and Virginia have reported multiple confirmed cases of Salmonella associated with the Wawona peaches.
Both Aldi and Prima Wawona have recalled the peaches implicated in the outbreak. The peaches (and foods made with them) were believed to be distributed across a majority of the United States by retailers including Aldi, Food Lion, Hannaford, Kroger (and affiliated retailers: City Market, Fry's, Food 4 Less, Foods Co., Jay-C, King Soopers, Ralphs, and Smiths), Russ Davis Wholesale, Target, Walmart, and Wegmans.
Peaches, in particular, can be contaminated with Salmonella at many points in the production process according to Salmonella attorney Brendan Flaherty. "What a lot of people don't know," Flaherty said, "is that even fresh peaches are handled extensively before they reach store shelves. They are irrigated in the fields, often hydro-cooled, washed, sorted, packed and moved along mechanized processing lines. All of these contact points pose a risk of Salmonella contamination if the production facilities from farm to fork are not safely operated." Salmonella can even grow within fruit, especially if stored at room temperature as peaches often are.
According to OFT Food Safety Lawyer Brendan Flaherty, Wawona Packing peaches were also recalled in 2014 for Listeria contamination.
Flaherty has built his legal career on handling food poisoning cases associated with fresh fruit. For example, he previously represented several individuals who contracted Listeria from caramel apples and Salmonella from fresh-cut melons, winning millions of dollars for his sickened clients. He says the industry needs to do better. "I've personally seen the human cost of these outbreaks. We know that the outbreaks are preventable and yet they keep happening year after year. It is time for every major fresh fruit producer to take this threat seriously and incorporate the safety systems that are commonplace in the production of other ready-to-eat foods."
Flaherty is a founding partner of the Minneapolis-based law firm OFT Food Safety & Injury Lawyers, along with lawyers Ryan Osterholm and Bart Torvik. The firm is driven by a commitment to making the food supply safer by bringing claims for those who are sickened by foodborne pathogens like Salmonella. "OFT Law exists to make the food we eat safer. Salmonella simply should not be part of the fresh fruit food supply," said OFT food safety lawyer Ryan Osterholm.
With over 4 decades of experience, the lawyers at OFT Food Safety & Injury Lawyers have recovered millions on behalf of food poisoning victims. OFT is one of the largest national law firms committed to representing food poisoning victims against food growers, processors, and retailers across the United States. If you have been affected by this outbreak, contact OFT Law for a free consultation today. Call or text 888-828-7087 or email [email protected].
Partner | OFT Law
Partner | OFT Law
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SOURCE OFT Law PLLC