Salmonella Attorney Calls on Cantaloupe Producer to Pay Victims' Medical Expenses


SEATTLE –Salmonella lawyers at Marler Clark are calling on a produce company to cover the medical expenses incurred by Salmonella victims in a recent outbreak linked to cantaloupe.

Public health officials have identified cantaloupes sold by Del Monte Fresh Produce as the likely cause of a recent Salmonella Panama outbreak that has sickened at least 12 people and hospitalized 2 in the following 4 states: Washington (4 cases), Oregon (5 cases), California (2 cases) Maryland (1 case). The Gables, Florida based company recently recalled nearly 60,000 cantaloupes after learning of the products’ link to the Salmonella outbreak.

The cantaloupes were distributed in warehouse clubs in Alaska, California, Colorado, Idaho, Montana, Oregon, and Washington. They were sold in bulk with 3 cantaloupes in one plastic sleeve with a plastic orange handle, the Del Monte logo, and the words “3 Count, Product of Guatemala”.

“The food industry has a responsibility to produce and sell only food free of contaminants or pathogens; no exceptions,” said Bill Marler, Managing Partner of Marler Clark, The Food Safety Law Firm. “It seems clear in this instance that Del Monte has failed to protect the customer and it is only right that the company pay for the medical costs incurred by those sickened from its products.”

This outbreak marks the twelfth documented cantaloupe-based Salmonella outbreak in the United States since 1990, with nearly 950 reported illnesses.

In Del Monte’s case this is the third recall it has issued in less than two years. In late 2009the California State Department of Public Health warned consumers not to eat Del Monte cantaloupe due to Salmonella and the company recalled 1,120 cartons of its product. Then in 2010, Michigan Department of Agriculture testing detected the presence of Salmonella on Del Monte cantaloupe resulting in the recall of 81 cartons of cantaloupe.

Symptoms of Salmonella infection can begin 6-72 hours after ingestion and include abdominal pain and cramping, diarrhea, vomiting, and dehydration. If you believe you may have a Salmonella infection consult a healthcare professional immediately. To learn more about Salmonella, visit www.about-salmonella.com. Complications such as Reactive Arthritis and Irritable Bowel Syndrome may occur. For information on prior Salmonella outbreaks and litigation see Marler Clark.

MARLER CLARK, THE FOOD SAFETY LAW FIRM has represented thousands of victims of foodborne illnesses since 1993. The firm’s Salmonella lawyers have unmatched experience and have taken on large corporations in Salmonella cases such as Peanut Corporation of America, ConAgra, Jimmy John’s, and Taco Bell. For more information or to speak to an attorney contact 206-407-2200 or email cmoore@marlerclark.com.