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Food Borne Illness

E. Coli Food Poisoning

If you think you have suffered from an E. coli infection, talk to an E. coli attorney in MA at Mazow|McCullough. We understand how an E. coli infection can drastically affect a person’s life and have years of experience in successfully prosecuting food poisoning cases for our clients.

Call our Essex County, MA office today for a free consultation.

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What is E. coli?

E. coli stands for Escherichia coli, a large group of common bacteria that live in the guts of plant-eating animals such as cattle, goats, sheep, deer and elk. Many strains of E. coli are harmless, but there are a few that can make people very sick.

Some of the most dangerous kinds of E. coli bacteria are the ones that produce the Shiga toxin. These are called STEC (Shiga Toxin E. coli) for short. News stories often talk about E. coli O157 – this is the most commonly identified STEC – but there are plenty of other STEC that result in food poisoning and illness.

Cattle is a common species that transmits E. coli infections, but other animals like pigs and birds can pick up E. coli and spread it to human food sources.

How Do I Get an E. coli Infection?

E. coli infections occur when you swallow E. coli bacteria living on tiny amounts of animal or human feces. Without proper hygiene, feces occur in many places you wouldn’t expect, especially in agricultural settings. For example, you might contract E. coli food poisoning after consuming:

  • undercooked meat
  • unwashed vegetables and fresh produce
  • drinking water that has not been disinfected
  • unpasteurized (raw) milk or apple cider
  • soft cheeses made from raw milk
  • food that has been contaminated by other infected people – especially in restaurants and food preparation areas

Recent E. coli food poisoning cases have involved:

  • Nestlé Toll House cookie dough
  • Bags of unopened fresh lettuce
  • Ground hamburger meat
  • Tenderized restaurant steaks
  • Raw milk products

E. Coli cases have also been reported in children who have touched animals in petting zoos or people who have accidentally drunk water in lakes and swimming areas. Since E. coli bacteria do not generally make animals sick, the infection can go unnoticed until it appears in humans.

Symptoms of E. coli Infection

E. coli infections can be very dangerous and may prove fatal. People who have been infected often report symptoms such as:

  • diarrhea
  • severe stomach cramps
  • urinary tract infections
  • respiratory illnesses
  • pneumonia

In addition, around 5-10% of those who are infected with STEC develop a life-threatening complication called hemolytic uremic syndrome (HUS). This disease can shut down a person’s kidneys, potentially cause major damage or death. Symptoms for HUS include decreased urination, fatigue and a loss of pink color in the cheeks and inside the lower eyelids.

If you believe you have been infected by E. coli, visit your doctor and ask them to test a stool specimen. If you believe you or a family member has HUS, the infected person should be hospitalized immediately.

How We Handle E. coli Cases

If you have been infected by E. coli, it is likely that the Massachusetts Department of Public Health has been notified by the medical provider. In turn, the DPH will contact the Center for Disease Control (CDC). The CDC will investigate the claim to determine the source of the outbreak and determine whether any recalls are necessary.

When you hire the E.coli lawyers at Mazow|McCullough, we will contact the appropriate authorities to gather whatever public information is available. We will collect all of the medical documentation, interview medical treating providers, retain necessary experts such as endocrinologists, and work with you to ensure that the proper defendants are held accountable.

Contact an E. coli Lawyer in MA

Contact the E. coli attorneys in MA at Mazow|McCullough, PC today if you think you have been affected by E. coli food poisoning.

When you or a family member has been affected by a foodborne illness such as E.coli, you want to ensure that you have the proper representation. Do not trust such a case to an attorney that simply dabbles in personal injury. Trust your case to E. coli lawyers who are experienced with this specialized brand of litigation.

Contact us at any time, 24 hours a day, 7 days a week. We make every effort to return phone calls and e-mail inquiries promptly.

FDA Investigates Townsend Farms Hepatitis A Link

The FDA began an investigation into Townsend Farms Frozen Organic Antioxidant Blend on June 4, 2013, according to its website. The investigation began following a multi-state Hepatitis A outbreak thought to be associated with the frozen food blend.

Hepatitis A Outbreak Linked to Frozen Organic Antioxidant Blend

As of June 5, 2013, 61 people from 7 states have been infected with Hepatitis A, and through interviews with the patients, 22 of 30 patients recalled eating the Townsend Farms Frozen Organic Antioxidant Blend. The FDA website states that it has begun an investigation of the processing facilities in Oregon where these foods are being handled. According to the warning on the FDA website, it is also testing the berry samples related to the outbreak for the presence of HAV and will provide updates as they become available.

Symptoms of Hepatitis A

Symptoms of Hepatitis A included but are not limited to yellowing of the skin or eyes, abdominal pain, pale stools, and dark urine. It is urged that if you experience such symptoms, seek medical attention. Also, if you consumed any of these foods within the past few weeks but have never been vaccinated for Hepatitis A, contact your health provider.

If you or a loved one has been the victim of a food borne illness, or if you have any questions about a Hepatitis A outbreak in your state, contact the personal injury lawyers at Mazow/McCullough, P.C. for a free consultation. You can contact us at 978-744-8000 or info@helpinginjured.com.

Salmonella Outbreak in Massachusetts

The Massachusetts Department of Public Health has issued a warning to consumers that the Traders Joe’s Valencia Creamy Salted Peanut Butter Made with Sea Salt may be part of a national outbreak of Salmonella infection.  Since June 11, there have been 29 cases nationwide, with 3 of those cases occurring in Massachusetts.  If you have this product at home, the DPH recommends getting rid of it.

Salmonella is a bacteria that causes an infectious disease in humans.  Typically, the symptoms manifest themselves through stomach cramps, diarrhea, fever, nausea and vomiting.  The symptoms generally show up between 12 and 36 hours after the suspect food is consumed, and can last several days.  For the young, those with previous health issues, and the elderly, a salmonella infection can be a life threatening event.

If you think you or a loved one has been infected with Salmonella from a product please contact Mazow|McCullough, PC.  We have extensive experience in handling cases that arise because of unsafe and contaminated food products.  You will receive a free legal consultation and learn about your legal options.  You can contact us at (978) 744-8000 or info@helpinginjured.com.  The right lawyer makes all the difference.

E. Coli Outbreak Turns Deadly

E. Coli Fatality in Recent Outbreak

A deadly strain of the E. Coli 0145 virus is to blame for recent serious illnesses across the United States.  This strain has unfortunately already caused the death of a 21 month old child in Louisiana.  According to the Centers for the Disease Control and Prevention, there have been fourteen cases of people infected with this strain of E. Coli 0145.

As of right now, an investigation is ongoing as to how the infected persons came into contact with the virus.  It is unknown if the virus is being contracted through a food source or a non-food source. Health officials will determine the source through interviews with persons affected by this virus, asking them specific questions as to which foods they consumed or possible carriers they came into contact with.  Once they establish a common source between the parties they will have a better idea as to the cause of the outbreak.

E. Coli Contamination and Contraction

E. Coli can be contracted from a variety of different foods including meats, fruits and vegetables.  It can also be contracted through water that has not been disinfected or contact with feces of an infected person or animal.

If you have any questions about an E.Coli outbreak in your state or if you or a family member have been affected by E.Coli 0145, please contact Mazow|McCullough, PC immediately for a free consultation and to learn more about your legal options.  You can contact us at (978) 744-8000 or info@helpinginjured.com.

The right lawyer makes all the difference.

Dole Salad Recalled Due to Salmonella Contamination

Dole Food Company is issuing a food recall on their bagged salad.  The specific bagged salad that is being recalled is called Seven Lettuces Salad.  Recently, a random sample testing of the salad was conducted in New York and it came up positive for Salmonella, prompting the recall.

Bagged Salad Products Recalled

The bags of salad that are affected by this recall have a UPC code of 71430 01057 and product codes of 0577N089112A and 0577N089112B.  The bagged salad also has a use by date of April 11, 2012 stamped on the upper right hand corner of the package.

As of yet, no illnesses have been reported.  If anyone has a bag of salad that has been affected by the recall, it is urged that you throw it out.

Salmonella Poisoning Symptoms

Salmonella poisoning can be severe or life threatening to children, the elderly and pregnant women.  Some symptoms of salmonella are diarrhea, fever and abdominal cramps within 72 hours of eating contaminated foods.

If you or a loved one has been the victim of a food borne illness, or if you have any questions about a salmonella outbreak in your state, contact the personal injury lawyers at Mazow/McCullough, P.C. for a free consultation. You can contact us at 978-744-8000 or info@helpinginjured.com.

The right lawyer makes all the difference.

Walmat Recalls Pastries

Walmart Stores Issue Recall on Pastries

Walmart Stores across the country have issued a recall on eight ounce packs of Cruller Bakery Pastries. The pastries that are affected look similar to a doughnut and are being recalled for failure to add a certain allergen to the ingredient list.  The allergen that is found is Sodium Caseinate, which is a milk derivative.  Those that are allergic to milk may experience serious or life threatening allergic reactions if they consume this product.

The packages involved in this recall are packages that have been marked with the UPC code of 787429847.  These packages are postmarked with expiration dates of on or before February 9, 2012.  If you have these pastries that are affected by this recall, either please discard them or return them to your nearest Wal-Mart store for a full refund.  These pastries were sold in Wal-Mart Stores nationwide.

If you have any questions or you or a loved one is a victim of a severe allergic reaction to improperly labeled food, contact the law office of ‌‌‌‌Mazow|McCullough, P.C. for a free consultation to learn more about your legal options.  You can contact us at (978) 744-8000 or info@helpinginjured.com.

The right lawyer makes all the difference.

Listeria In Stop & Shop Shredded Cheese

Stop & Shop Issues a Voluntary Recall on Miller’s Shredded Cheese Packages

The supermarket chain Stop & Shop has issued a voluntary recall on several shredded cheese packages from its supplier Miller’s Cheese Corp.  The recall was issued because some of the cheese packages are potentially contaminated with Listeria Monocytogenes.  Listeria Monocytogenes can cause high fever, severe headaches, neck stiffness, nausea and even death.

Recalled Miller’s Shredded Cheese Products

The products that have been affected all have expiration dates between June 5, 2012 through September 4, 2012.  These cheese Packages are; 8 oz. packages of Miller’s Shredded Cheddar Cheese and Haolam Shredded Cheddar Cheese, 8 oz. packages of Miller’s Shredded Mozzarella Cheese and Haolam Shredded Mozzarella Cheese, and 8 oz. packages of Haolam Shredded Pizza Cheese.

If you have any packages that may have been contaminated you may discard them or bring them back to Stop & Shop along with your purchase receipt for a full refund.

If you have any questions or you or a loved one is a victim of a food borne illness, contact the law office of ‌‌‌‌Mazow | McCullough, P.C. for a free consultation and to learn more about your legal options.  You can contact us at (978) 744-800 or info@helpinginjured.com. The right lawyer makes all the difference.

Market Basket Voluntary Recall on White Albacore Tuna Fish

Market Basket Tuna Fish Recalled Due to Unlisted Ingredient

All Market Basket locations in Massachusetts as well as New Hampshire have issued a Voluntary Food Recall on 5 ounce cans of Market Basket White Albacore Tuna Fish in Water.  The reason for the recall is due to the mislabeling of soy that may be contained in the tuna.  Soy is not listed as a possible allergen in the tuna and therefore, Market Basket feels that the product should be pulled from shelves. The soy in the product comes from the vegetable broth that is used in the product.  Consumers should either discard cans or return cans with a “best if purchased by” date of August 18, 2014 and August 19, 2014 for an exchange or full refund at any Market Basket location.  So far there have been no reports of people affected by this recall.

If you have any questions or you or a loved one is a victim of an item that was recalled, contact the law office of ‌‌‌‌Mazow|McCullough, P.C. for a free consultation and to learn more about your legal options.  You can contact us at (978) 744-800 or info@helpinginjured.com.

The right lawyer makes all the difference.

Cilantro Recall in 7 States, including Massachusetts

Salmonella-contaminated Cilantro Recalled

Salmonella may contaminate 6,141 cartons of cilantro that was distributed in 7 states.  This cilantro is being voluntarily recalled by a California food company.

Pacific Cilantro, based in Salinas, announced that a sample of their herbs was found to be contaminated with salmonella by the Food and Drug Association (FDA).

While no illnesses have been reported, the cilantro is being recalled as a precaution.

Also known as coriander, the cilantro was distributed in California, Arizona, Massachusetts, New Jersey, Indiana, South Carolina, and Missouri through a number of retailers.

If you purchased cilantro after November 16 and before December 10, you are advised to return the herb.

The cilantro was grown in the Phoenix area by Salt River Farming.  Each bunch of recalled cilantro has “Pacific” on the twist tie and carries the UPC code 33383 80104.

Salmonella can cause serious or even fatal illness in people with compromised immune systems, such as children and the elderly.

Keep Your Kitchen Listeria Free

The bacteria Listeria can cause serious illness, leading to hospitalization and even death.  Unlike most food borne bacteria, Listeria can grow and spread in the refrigerator, contaminating other foods and increasing the likelihood that you and your family will be infected with this food borne illness.

The illness caused by Listeria monocytogenes is known as listeriosis.  At the highest risk for listeriosis are pregnant women, older adults, and people who have certain chronic medical conditions or have a compromised immune system, such as people who have cancer, diabetes, kidney disease, HIV/AIDS, or transplant patients. When a pregnant woman gets listeriosis, she is at risk for miscarriage, stillbirth, and serious health issues or the death of her newborn.

A recent multi-state outbreak of listeriosis linked to contaminated cantaloupes caused a number of deaths.  Listeria has also been linked to a number of ready-to-eat foods, such as unpasteurized dairy products, soft cheeses made with unpasteurized milk, hot dogs, processed deli meats, deli salads, and smoked seafood.  According to Donald Zink, Ph.D., senior science advisor at the FDA’s Center for Food Safety and Applied Nutrition, the FDA is aware of cases of listeriosis caused by bacteria that can live in the kitchen and spread to foods.

To protect yourself and your family from listeriosis and other food borne illnesses, wash all fruits and vegetables just before eating, even if you plan on peeling the produce first.  Also scrub firm produce like melons and cucumbers with a clean produce brush, which you can find at your supermarket.

To further protect your family from listeria, you can follow these easy steps:

Maintain Proper Refrigerator Temperature to Keep Foods Cold

An important way you can reduce Listeria in your home is to chill food properly.  While Listeria can grow at colder temperatures, it grows more slowly at temperatures of 40 degrees F or less.  Some tips to keep your foods at the proper temperature:

  • Keep your fridge at 40 degrees F or lower.  Keep your freezer at 0 degrees F or lower.
  • Cover foods and make sure they don’t leak onto other foods.  Use plastic wrap, foil, plastic bags, or clean covered containers before placing foods in the fridge.
  • Use an appliance/refrigerator thermometer to ensure proper temperatures.  Adjust temperature controls as needed and check temperatures in the refrigerator and freezer periodically.
  • Use ready-to-eat and precooked foods as soon as possible.  The longer items are stored, the more chance Listeria has to grow.  If you have had leftovers in your refrigerator for more than three days, you should dispose of them.  When it comes to Listeria, it is better to be safe than sorry.

Clean Your Refrigerator Regularly

Listeria can quickly contaminate other foods in your refrigerator, so be sure to keep your fridge clean.

  • Clean up all spills right away.  It’s best to use paper towels to prevent germs from transferring to a cloth towel.
  • Use warm water and liquid soap to clean the inside walls and shelves of your fridge regularly.  You can also sanitize your refrigerator monthly using the tips below.

Keep Hands and Kitchen Surfaces Clean

It is easy for Listeria to spread from one surface to another.

  • Keep all food preparation surfaces clean by thoroughly washing with warm, soapy water.  You can also take extra precaution by sanitizing clean surfaces by using any of the kitchen surface cleaners available at your local supermarket.  Be sure to follow product directions for the best results.
  • You can make your own sanitizer by combining 1 tsp. of unscented bleach with 1 qt. of water.  Flood the surface and let it sit for 10 minutes.  Rinse with clean water and air dry or pat dry with clean paper towels.
  • Wash cutting boards with warm, soapy water after each use.  Some cutting boards can be washed in the dishwasher
  • Wash dish cloths, towels, and cloth grocery bags regularly in the hot cycle of your washing machine.
  • Wash hands with soap and warm water for at least 20 seconds before and after handling food.

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