The Michigan Department of Agriculture has determined that the E. coli-tainted lettuce, which has sickened more than 36 people in Michigan, originated from California. . According to this October 9, 2008 article in the Detroit Free Press, the tainted California lettuce was sold by distributors in Michigan to institutions and restaurants. The E. coli outbreak started at Michigan State University and Lenawee County Jail in early September before hitting metro Detroit.
Aunt Mid’s Produce of Detroit was identified as one of the local suppliers. That company has stopped its lettuce distribution. But, Aunt Mid’s is facing a lawsuit from Michigan State University student Samantha Steffen, who reportedly suffered bloody diarrhea and was hospitalized with dehydration in mid-September. A stool sample confirmed the presence of E. Coli 0157:H7.
E. coli, or Escherichia coli, strands are a large and diverse group of bacteria. Some strains of E. coli are harmless, but others can make you very sick. Some strains cause bloody diarrhea, while others cause urinary tract infections, respiratory illness and pneumonia, according to the U.S. Centers for Disease Control (CDC). Experts estimate that about 70,000 people suffer from E. coli infections each year.
Food safety recalls and foodborne illnesses have almost become a way of life in the United States. Over the last two years, the food products that have been recalled include beef, chicken, processed meals, lettuce, green onions, tomatoes and peppers. Problems rest not only with meat packing plants and other food processing facilities, but also restaurants and even school cafeterias that serve food in less than hygienic conditions.
If you or a loved one has been sickened by a product you purchased or consumed at a local eatery, please contact your local health agency. Click here to visit the Orange County Health Care Agency’s Web site and here to visit the Los Angeles County’s site. You also have the right to hold all negligent parties responsible for any injuries sustained from consuming tainted food. Call our Southern California foodborne illness lawyers for more information.