The Erlanger, Kentucky food company, Dixie Dew Products, Inc., which produces a variety of sauces and nut butters, is being sued after causing dozens of food poisonings across the country. One of the 12 states affected by the outbreaks has been Maryland. Specifically, the company’s soy nut butter has found to be contaminated with E. coli bacteria and not fit for human consumption. As such, the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) has halted all sales and distribution of Dixie Dew Products, according to 5 News WDTV, despite the fact that the food producer I.M. Healthy was contracted by Dixie Dew to make that soy nut butter product. The FDA conducted an inspection that, “revealed insanitary conditions at the firm that could affect the safety of finished products.” The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) said that despite the soy nut butter having been recalled, it is continuing to cause sickness across the country. Twenty-nine people have become sick, as of this writing, and 24 of those were children. Twelve have been hospitalized, nine of which developed hemolytic uremic syndrome. While most people recover in a few weeks from hemolytic uremic syndrome, it is a life-threatening type of kidney failure. According to a CDC press release, “We are urging parents and caregivers to check for recalled SoyNut Butter products and throw them away. This product has a long shelf life and may still be in homes and classrooms.”
Symptoms of E. Coli
- coli poisoning is a painful and often dangerous condition. Symptoms come on between one and five days of being infected, can last for a few days to over a week, and include the following, according to Healthline:
- Sudden and severe diarrhea;
- Bloody stool;
- Loss of appetite;
- Abdominal cramping; and
Severe E. coli infection symptoms include:
- Pale skin;
- Bloody urine;
- Decreased urine; and
Risk Factors and Beef
According to the CDC, E. coli infection causes 96,000 illnesses, 3,200 hospitalizations, and 31 fatalities each year, and adds $405 million to the nation’s annual healthcare costs. Those most at risk for E. coli poisoning are older people and young children. Those with weakened immune systems are also more at risk. The CDC found that people who eat beef are much more likely to be contaminated with E. coli bacteria than those who do not, and that home-cooked beef is more likely to cause an infection than eating out. During the five year period from 2009 to 2013, the CDC found at least 75 major foodborne illness outbreaks caused by beef. Thirty-five percent were caused by E. coli and 23 percent by Salmonella. Salmonella is another dangerous pathogen that causes serious discomfort or even death in some patients. There are roughly 200,000 cases of salmonella each year in the U.S. and food production companies and restaurants are legally expected to take proper safety measures to ensure that consumers are kept safe.
Contact a Pasadena Attorney if You Became Sick
If you have suffered a severe illness caused by a food product, do not hesitate to contact the Maryland attorneys of Frame & Frame today at 410-255-0373. We are prepared to aggressively advocate on your behalf.