The nationwide E. coli outbreak caused by contaminated romaine lettuce grown in Arizona demonstrates that consumers are constantly at risk of suffering from food poisoning.
To date the aggressive strain of the E. coli 0157:H7 bacteria found in romaine lettuce has struck at least 172 individuals in 32 states, including three reported cases in Massachusetts, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. The outbreak has caused one death and 20 instances of reported hemolytic uremic syndrome, a type of kidney failure, as well as hospitalization in 75 cases. Because food poisoning symptoms are typically delayed, more reported cases are expected in what has become the largest multistate E. coli outbreak since 2006.
In his latest Just Transparency post, Jeffrey Catalano writes that this widespread outbreak demonstrates that consumers must be able to trust that restaurants and grocery stores are providing uncontaminated food in a safe and sanitary environment that does not jeopardize their health or lives.
As a consequence, food suppliers and restaurants in Massachusetts who provide tainted food are strictly liable for injuries caused by food poisoning.
Mr. Catalano, a partner at the firm, represents victims of catastrophic injuries, including those resulting from food poisoning. He is the immediate Past President of the Massachusetts Bar Association.