William Marler Calls on Cantaloupe Industry to Prevent Future Outbreaks
August 17 2012
SEATTLE—The Indiana State Health Department announced today that cantaloupes grown in southwestern Illinois and sold in Kentucky were the source of a Salmonella outbreak that sickened at least 141 people nationwide, including 31 people who were hospitalized as a result of their Salmonella infections, between early July and mid-August. According to the Kentucky Department of Public Health, 2 Kentucky residents died as a result of their Salmonella infections. Other states that reported illness were: Alabama, 7; Arkansas, 3; California, 2; Georgia, 1; Illinois, 17; Indiana, 13; Iowa, 7; Michigan, 6; Minnesota, 3; Missouri, 9; Mississippi, 2; New Jersey, 1; North Carolina, 3; Ohio, 3; Pennsylvania, 2; South Carolina, 3; Tennessee, 6; Texas, 1; and Wisconsin, 2.
Attorney and food safety advocate William Marler, who represents the families of dozens of people who died or whose lives were permanently altered after eating cantaloupe contaminated with another pathogen—Listeria monocytogenes—last September, commented on this most recent outbreak traced to melons:
“I’ve represented victims of Salmonella outbreaks linked to cantaloupes dating back to 2001. In 2009, the U.S. Food and Drug Administration issued guidance for the melon industry to prevent foodborne illness outbreaks associated with cantaloupes and other melons. For whatever reason, that guidance has not produced results. In 2011 and 2012 alone, we’ve seen hundreds of people sickened or killed after eating contaminated cantaloupes. This has got to stop.”
Marler has represented victims of nearly every major Salmonella outbreak in the last 20 years. He has brought Salmonella lawsuits on behalf of victims of outbreaks traced to peanut butter, eggs, cantaloupe, beef, poultry, fish, sprouts, and numerous other food products.
“It’s time for the cantaloupe industry to take action to protect consumers,” Marler continued. “Everybody loses when we can’t trust the food we eat.”
BACKGROUND: Marler Clark is the nation’s only law firm with a practice focused exclusively on representing victims of Salmonella and other foodborne illness outbreaks. Beginning with the 1993 Jack in the Box E. coli outbreak, our lawyers have represented victims of countless foodborne illness outbreaks and have filed Salmonella lawsuits in outbreaks traced to peanut butter, eggs, cantaloupe, beef, poultry, fish, sprouts, and numerous other food products. Our Salmonella lawyers have brought Salmonella lawsuits against such major companies as Taco Bell, Wal-Mart, ConAgra, Peanut Corporation of America, Quality Egg, Chili’s, Subway, Jimmy John’s and Cargill.