Rhode Island Salmonella Outbreak Claims Another Fatality

Amid mounting illnesses in a growing <"http://www.yourlawyer.com/practice_areas/food_poisoning">Salmonella outbreak, lawsuits, and a probe, DeFusco’s Bakery in Rhode Island can add another fatality to its list. This weekend, another man died in a Salmonella outbreak that has sickened and hospitalized scores and had already led to one death.

CNN said the second death could be linked to the DeFusco Salmonella outbreak, saying that the man, who tested positive for Salmonella, was in his 90s, according to Annemarie Beardsworth, a public information officer for the state’s health department. It remains unclear of the man died from Salmonella or from some other “underlying medical conditions,” she said, quoted CNN.

To date, 66 cases are being tracked in the outbreak’s investigation, said the Rhode Island Department of Health website; CNN noted that 65 cases took place in Rhode Island and the remaining case occurred in Massachusetts. Salmonella has been confirmed in 39 patients, so far; 28 required hospitalization, said CNN, citing the health department website. As we previously wrote, 53 of 56 of those interviewed reported eating a baked good from DeFusco’s, said Peter Hanney, of the health department.

The bakery, which has been closed since March 25, is already facing one lawsuit in connection with its contaminated baked goods. According to a prior report by 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. Erin Carrera told CNN affiliate WPRI, “I was just infuriated, absolutely infuriated…. As a chef, I’m infuriated by the lack of food handling and food safety that was practiced there and, as a mother, infuriated that my son should have to go through an illness for simply enjoying a couple of zeppoles.”

A release on DeFusco’s website says, “Pastry shells from DeFusco’s had been stored in used egg crates, which could have exposed the shells to infected raw eggs.” As we’ve mentioned in earlier reports, 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. Egg crates taken from DeFusco’s bakery and tested by HEALTH contained the Salmonella bacteria. Also, 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.

We’ve previously listed a number of locations known to have sold the tainted DeFusco zeppoles; however, health officials continue to work toward identifying all locations and the source of the eggs, according to the bakery’s website, said CNN. Zeppoles, cream puffs, and éclairs from Buono’s Bakery (Providence) are involved and American Bakery Supplies purchased zeppoles from DeFusco’s distributing them 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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