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Main Figures in Poisoned Donate E. coli Books to Health Officials

SEATTLE – Food safety advocates Bill Marler and Dave Theno have teamed up to donate nearly 1000 copies of the new book Poisoned: The Deadly E. coli Outbreak that Changed the Way Americans Eat to the International Association of Food Protection (IAFP). The books will be given to selected attendees of the 2011 IAFP conference in Milwaukee at the end of the month.

The book, written by best-selling investigative author Jeff Benedict, tells the story of the history-making 1993 Jack in the Box E. coli outbreak. Marler and Theno are two of the main characters in the book; Marler, an attorney, won record settlements for children made seriously ill in the outbreak, and Theno, a food safety expert hired by Jack in the Box in the midst of the outbreak, overhauled the restaurant chain’s food safety system.

Marler is hopeful recipients of the book will take to heart the significance of the outbreak and hopes the book serves as a reminder as to just how critical food safety is to consumers. “Sadly, without the 1993 outbreak it could have been years before we would have seen the significant changes in food safety regulations and improvements to industry protocols that we currently maintain,” said Marler. “I’m hopeful this story can serve as an energizer to those in food safety, by reminding them of how important they are to public as a whole.”

“Back in ’93 I’d have called Marler nothing but a pesky lawyer and God knows what he would have said about me,” said Theno. “What neither of us may have understood about each other at the time was that through this outbreak we both became not only professionally invested in food safety, but emotionally as well.”

Though Marler and Theno were technically on different sides of the outbreak, both have dedicated their careers to improving food safety. “Though done through different channels and means, between Marler and Theno, I don’t know of any two private citizens who’ve done more to improve modern food safety,” said Benedict.

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