In March 2011, the Rhode Island Department of Health named zeppoles made by DeFusco's Bakery as the cause of a Salmonella outbreak that sickened at least 79 in Rhode Island (78) and Massachusetts (1), hospitalized 30 and killed two.
Upon investigation by public health officials it was revealed that boxes used by the bakery to hold pastry shells had previously held raw eggs and subsequently tested positive for Salmonella. Also, state regulations require that pastry cream be stored at 41 degrees, but inspectors found containers of cream stored at room temperature and when measured ranged from 119 degrees to 125 degrees.
Products from DeFusco's Bakery were distributed widely throughout the state and DeFusco's Bakery has remained closed since this outbreak occurred.
On April 4, 2011 Marler Clark filed a lawsuit against DeFusco's in Providence Superior Court on behalf of a 16 year old Massachusetts boy who was sickened after eating DeFusco's zeppoles.