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Thursday, May 13, 2010

Tainted Lettuce Causes New Injuries

Few of us think of lettuce as a threat. Recently, however, an outbreak of E. coli linked to tainted lettuce has spread to a fourth state, causing more cases of personal injury.

Tennessee has confirmed a case of E. coli 0145, joining Michigan, New York, and Ohio. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, or CDC, reported Wednesday that there are 23 confirmed cases in all, up from 19 last week, with seven more suspected. No deaths have been reported.

Investigators have linked the illnesses to tainted romaine lettuce grown on a Yuma, Arizona, farm. One company has distributed lettuce grown on the farm to wholesalers and food service outlets in 25 states.

E. coli 0145 can cause symptoms ranging from mild diarrhea to abdominal cramps and bloody stool. It can also cause a potentially life-threatening complication called hemolytic uremic syndrome, or HUS.

At least 16 outbreaks of E. coli linked to lettuce and other leafy green vegetables have occurred since 1993. A 2006 outbreak linked to spinach caused five deaths nationwide. It seems, though, that once publicity subsides, the topic fades from attention.

Nothing is more basic than food safety. When the health, and even the lives, of consumers are jeopardized by an invisible threat of which they have no warning, they deserve to have advocates who will press for compensation. This is true whether the defective products are the kind you drive or the kind you eat.

At The Cochran Firm, our product liability lawyers are ready to work for you. If you have a possible injury case, please contact us for a free consultation at any of our nationwide offices.


posted by Benjamin A. Irwin at 10:05 AM

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