Another Lawsuit in Rhode Island Salmonella Outbreak

As the Rhode Island <"">Salmonella outbreak, linked to DeFusco’s Bakery, continues to grow, another Salmonella lawsuit has been filed.

According to The Providence Journal (ProJo), the mother of a 16-year-old boy who was sickened after eating contaminated zeppoles from DeFusco’s is suing the bakery for damages. Since the outbreak was first reported, 56 people have been sickened, of those, 54 have been interviewed and 53 reported eating a baked good from the bakery, said Peter Hanney, the health department spokesman, said ProJo. The bakery has been closed since March 25.

The lawsuit, filed yesterday in Superior Court, Providence, Rhode Island, states that Erin Carrera bought a custard-filled zeppole at the Johnston bakery on March 18; Ms. Carrera’s son, identified as “J.C.” in the lawsuit, consumed one of the pastries on the 18th and another on March 19, said ProJo. The boy began complaining of symptoms consistent with Salmonella: “Cramping, diarrhea, and fever”; a stool sample revealed the presence of Salmonella, wrote ProJo, citing the lawsuit. The boy remains ill and the lawsuit seeks unspecified damages citing illness, medical expenses, and lost time from work, noted ProJo.

According to the Health Department, 10 of the 26 who required hospitalization remain hospitalized.

A prior report from the Rhode Island Department of Health (HEALTH), said the outbreak was likely caused by consumption of zeppole pastries that came in contact with raw eggs. Pastry shells from DeFusco’s were stored in used egg crates, which could have exposed the pastry shells to infected raw eggs. Egg crates taken from DeFusco’s bakery and tested by HEALTH contained the Salmonella bacteria.

Last week, we wrote that the Associated Press (AP) said an investigation is underway to determine if the man who died from Salmonella poisoning ate a contaminated pastry. Spokeswoman for the state health department, Annemarie Bearsdsworth, said that the man, who was in his 80s, died on March 23, resided in Providence County, and tested positive for the same Salmonella strain involved in the outbreak.

Unsafe food storage practices were revealed at Buono’s Bakery (Providence). Its zeppole, cream puff, and éclair shells were also stored in used egg crates, which could lead to contamination from raw eggs, said HEALTH.

People are advised to immediately discard all baked goods from any DeFusco’s; zeppoles from any of the locations mentioned below; and zeppoles, cream puffs, and éclairs from Buono’s Bakery (Providence):

• American Bakery Supplies purchased zeppoles from DeFusco’s and distributed the pastries to Roch’s Market (West Warwick), Meal Works (Coventry), and Touch of Class Catering (West Warwick).

• Meal Works, a caterer, served the zeppoles at events at West Warwick Manor Senior Center; Sts. John and Paul Church (Coventry); Sparrow Point, a West Warwick senior facility; and Crescent Park Manor (Riverside).

• Zeppoles from DeFusco’s Johnston store were sold at all DeFusco’s locations, Colvitto’s Bistro (Narragansett), Sal’s Bakery (Providence), and Focaccia World (Johnston).

• All five Crugnale Bakery locations in Providence, East Providence, North Providence, Cranston, and Cumberland also sold DeFusco’s zeppoles.

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