Attorneys have filed a lawsuit against the Peanut Corporation of America on behalf of a Vermont family whose 7-year-old son became ill after eating peanut butter cracker sandwiches linked to the ongoing salmonella outbreak.

The boy presented to the emergency room with fever, vomiting and frequent bouts of diarrhea, which turned bloody. During his hospital stay, he tested positive for the salmonella strain identified in this outbreak. He is now recovering.

“We learned a lot in the last peanut butter outbreak, and it’s sad that we have to put that knowledge to use,” says plaintiff’s attorney William Marler of Marler Clark, a law firm specializing in foodborne illness that handled plaintiffs’ cases in the 2006–2007 Peter Pan/Great Value outbreak, which was traced to a Georgia plant owned by ConAgra.

“We have to make sure all possibly contaminated product is promptly recalled and that the responsible companies step up to pay the medical bills of the victims, as well as the cost of government investigations,” he adds. “In addition, the public needs to know what safety precautions the Peanut Corporation of America was taking, especially after the 2007 outbreak. Finally, they need to show the public what will be done to prevent the next outbreak.”

Marler says the current outbreak is similar to the Peter Pan case.

“The signs started pointing to something like peanut butter with a longer shelf life,” he says. “It started to look a lot like the pattern that emerged in the 2007 outbreak.

“In that outbreak as well, we saw illnesses in many states over a long period of time,” he adds. “But I’m as surprised as the next guy that we’re seeing this again.”

Latest Product Recalls

Whole Foods Carob Energee Nuggets
9-oz. clear plastic package with a label reading “Whole Foods Carob Energee Nuggets,” UPC: 999482-000274, all lot codes. Products were distributed to Whole Foods Market stores in California, Oregon, Washington and Nevada.

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