By John Curran
Associated Press Writer / January 20, 2009
Source of Article: http://www.boston.com/news/local/vermont/articles/2009/01/20/vermont_couple_sues_over_salmonella_outbreak/
The suit, against Peanut Corporation of America, was filed on behalf of Gabrielle and Daryl Meunier, of South Burlington, whose son, Christopher, 7, took ill Nov. 25, a day after eating Keebler Cheese & Peanut Butter Sandwich crackers, according to his mother.
He has since recovered. The Keebler
crackers are among those recalled by the
The suit was filed in U.S. District Court in
"We're convinced, but it's taken us two months to find this out," Mrs. Meunier said Sunday.
Patsy Kelso, acting state epidemiologist for the Vermont Department of Health, wouldn't confirm it, citing patient confidentiality.
"The Health Department can't speak to an individual case -- confirm, deny or even acknowledge knowing anything. But if mom is giving you info, you can report it as such, coming from her," Kelso said.
The Food and Drug Administration has traced the
outbreak to a
The government has advised consumers to avoid eating cookies, cakes, ice cream and other foods containing peanut butter until health officials learn more about the contamination. Most peanut butter sold in jars at supermarkets appears to be safe, officials said.
The FDA has created a searchable list of
recalled products and brands on the agency's Web site. Salmonella, a bacteria, is the most common cause of food poisoning in
But doctors also said they suspected clostridium difficile, an intestinal bacterium that causes diarrhea and more serious intestinal conditions, such as colitis, she said. He had no history of that before falling ill, Meunier said.
After he was sent home, a Vermont Department of Health investigator called to get basic information and later gave the family a 2 1/2-hour questionnaire about foods the boy had eaten in the week before he got sick.
"I finally heard on the news Thursday something about crackers, and the big `Aha!' went up in my head," Meunier said.
An investigator for the U.S. Food and Drug Administration called Meunier on Saturday night and told her the remaining crackers from the package should be tested, but that it might not happen for several days.
"I thought they should be tested right away, so we could get the direct correlation and say to everyone, `Indeed, this is it,'" said Meunier.
Kelso wouldn't say where the other
On the Net:
For information about investigation: http://www.cdc.gov/salmonella/typhimurium/
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