May 8, 2009. By Ron Simon
TX: The first
lawsuit has been filed in the US stemming from a multi-state salmonella spice recall after an outbreak related to Lian
How and Uncle Chen’s spices manufactured by Union International Food
Company of Union City, California. The spices
contained Salmonella Rissen – a very rare but potent strain of salmonella.
The suit was filed in Los Angeles County on behalf of David Navarrette, a
San Pedro, California resident who consumed food containing the
contaminated spices at a buffet in Reno, Nevada and thereafter became
violently ill. DNA testing has since confirmed that he contracted the exact
strain of Salmonella Rissen isolated from Lian How white pepper collected
from the restaurant.
Five other consumers who ate at the restaurant over a three month period
also contracted this strain of salmonella.
"We are going to determine how these spices became contaminated to
make sure it does not happen again" said attorney Ron Simon, who filed
the lawsuit and represents other victims of the outbreak.
Health officials have reported 47 confirmed cases of Salmonella Rissen in
four states, including California (38), Nevada (4), Oregon (4), and
Union International Food Company has ceased the production and distribution
of the contaminated spices as the FDA and California Department of Public
Health continue to investigate the nature and full extent of the outbreak.
The contaminated spices have also been recalled.