Another Salmonella Victim Sues Over Tainted Pine Nuts

Another <"">Salmonella victim has filed a lawsuit after being sickened from tainted Turkish pine nuts involved in a multi-state outbreak of the dangerous food borne pathogen.

Kimberly Waterbury filed a lawsuit in federal court on behalf of herself and her minor child, said Democrat and Chronicle. The lawsuit was filed against the American Pistachio Commodity Corp., which also does business as Sunrise Commodities of Englewood Cliffs, New Jersey. The lawsuit claims that Sunrise Commodities was strictly liable for the contaminated Turkish pine nuts and was negligent for not using reasonable care in the manufacture, distribution, and sale of the tainted nut product, as well as for violating federal, state, and/or local food safety regulations, Democrat and Chronicle added. Unspecified damages are being sought.

Kimberly Waterbury purchased the Turkish pine nuts in the last week of August and she and her daughter ate them on multiple occasions, said Democrat and Chronicle. Her daughter fell ill on or about August 31 and as treated at Rochester General Hospital on September 3 and 5; Waterbury fell ill September 7; neither has fully recovered, according to court papers, wrote Democrat and Chronicle.

Last week, we wrote that another lawsuit was filed over the tainted Turkish pine nuts that have been linked to 42 illnesses in five states. That lawsuit involved a student from St. John Fisher College and was filed against American Pistachio Corporation (DBA Sunrise Commodities). Sean McGuirk, 20, said that, this August, he consumed a pasta dish made with pine nuts; he fell ill and was diagnosed with a Salmonella illness so severe he was hospitalized for three days.

McGuirk was advised by health officials that his illness was due to his having eaten contaminated pine nuts; he was also told the Salmonella strain that sickened him is a genetic match to the outbreak’s Salmonella Enteritidis strain, according to lawsuit documents, which noted that, although released from the hospital two months ago, McGuirk has not yet made a full recovery.

According to the lawsuit, McGuirk’s mother purchased “Grade A Pine Nuts-Product of Turkey” at a Wegmans grocery store. “It was debilitating,” McGuirk said, wrote Democrat and Chronicle. The second lawsuit states that the pine nuts were purchased from Wegmans, which is not named in either lawsuit, noted Democrat and Chronicle.

We recently wrote that the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) issued a consumer warning against eating Turkish pine nuts distributed by Sunrise Commodities after agency tests confirmed the presence of Salmonella. The FDA is collaborating with the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) and State public health and agriculture officials on the multi-state outbreak.

Sunrise Commodities issued a recall notification to its customers dated November 3, 2011, alerting them of the test results and of the epidemiologic investigation and asking them to notify their subsequent customers of the recall. The FDA then announced a Sunrise Commodity recall for 21,000 pounds of Turkish pine nuts. Wegmans Food Markets issued a recall on October 26, 2011 for 5,000 pounds of the product sold in the bulk foods departments in most of its New York stores. On November 4, the FDA announced that Badia Spices of Miami, Florida, recalled 3,800 pounds of Sunrise Commodities’ bulk Turkish pine nuts.

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