Shigella Illnesses Tied to Dip Rise --More Join Class

SEATTLE - New data released from the Washington State Department of Health has confirmed that over 160 people in Washington State have been sickened by Shigella-contaminated Dip. Other States are also showing increases of reported cases: 113 people have been infected in California, 47 in Oregon, 7 in Idaho and 3 in New Mexico. According to Bruce Clark with the Seattle law firm of Marler Clark, “over 30 of these people have already joined a class action lawsuit that was filed in King County Superior Court against Senor Felix Gourmet Mexican Foods, a California Corporation implicated in the outbreak.”

Contamination of the Dip is thought to have occurred through fecal-oral transmission. All those who tested positive confirmed they had recently eaten a product labeled Senor Felix 5 Layer Fiesta Dip. This dip was sold under several names, including Senor Felix, Trader Joe’s 5 Layer Fiesta Dip, and Delicioso 5 Layer Fiesta Dip. The manufacturer has recalled the product and it has been removed from store shelves.

According to Marcia Goldloft, Medical Epidemiologist with the Washington State De-partment of Health, “Shigellosis can be very serious and is highly contagious. People who think they might have been infected should pay close attention to hygiene. Carefully washing your hands could prevent getting a family member sick.” “Most of the adults and children have suffered painful and frightening illnesses that were thankfully short-lived. However, this is a far more serious outbreak than was first reported,” said Mr. Clark.

Marler Clark has been involved in hundreds of cases involving food-borne illness. These have included the 1993 Jack in the Box E. coli outbreak; the 1996 Odwalla E. coli outbreak; the 1998 Malt-O-Meal Salmonella Class Action; the 1998 Finley School District E. coli outbreak in the Tri-cities, Washington; the 1999 Sun Orchard Orange Juice Salmonella Class Action in several Western States; and, the 1999 Subway Hepatitis A Class Action in King County.

More about the Senor Felix Shieglla outbreak can be found in the Case News area of this site.