On October 20, 2010, the Texas Department of State Health Services (DSHS) announced that it had determined chopped celery was the source of a Listeria outbreak among Texas residents. Texas DSHS had been investigating the source of 10 cases of listeriosis—the illness caused by the ingestion of Listeria bacteria—five of which resulted in death, for eight months when investigators determined that the source of the outbreak was chopped celery sold by Sangar Fresh Cut Produce in San Antonio.
During the Listeria outbreak investigation, Texas DSHS attributed four of the five deaths to celery produced by Sangar. According to Texas DSHS, sanitation issues were to blame for the outbreak.
On January 5, 2011 Marler Clark filed a Listeria lawsuit on behalf of the family of Hermillo Castellano, one of the four who died as a result of eating the contaminated celery.