Chicago Man Sickened by Salmonella Pepper Salami Files Lawsuit

A lawsuit was filed today against Daniele International Inc. in an ongoing nationwide outbreak of Salmonella linked to pepper salami. The lawsuit also names Wholesome Spice and Mincing Overseas Trading Company, both of which have been linked to the salmonella-tainted pepper believed to be the source of the outbreak. The lawsuit was filed by in Cook County on behalf of a Chicago man by Marler Clark, the Seattle-based food safety law firm, and by Gary Newland of Illinois firm Newland, Newland, & Newland.

Raymond Cirimele regularly purchased the now-recalled salami product at a Costco in Cook County. He fell ill in November 2009 with symptoms of Salmonella infection, and visited his primary care physician. He was ill for almost a month, and visited his doctor several times about his illness. When a test revealed that he had been infected by the outbreak strain of Salmonella montevideo, Mr. Cirimele was placed on antibiotics. He is still recovering from his illness.

The salami pepper Salmonella outbreak began in July 2009, and does not appear to be over. The Centers for Disease Control (CDC) now report 217 illnesses in 42 states; the numbers have continued to climb.

“We expect a restaurant to ensure the safety of the ingredients they use to prepare food,” said Mr. Cirimele’s attorney, Drew Falkenstein. “Similarly, a food manufacturer must ensure that its ingredients are safe. Daniele and the spice importers were responsible for making sure the ingredients that went into the pepper salami were free of illness-causing bacteria, and they did not live up to that responsibility.”