DES MOINES, Iowa, July 3, 2020 /PRNewswire/ -- Today the national food safety law firm of Ron Simon & Associates, along with local counsel the Hammer Law Firm, P.L.C., filed the first cyclospora lawsuit in Iowa against Fresh Express and Hy-Vee stemming from cyclospora-contaminated bagged-salad mix that has sickened more than 200 across the Midwestern United States. Nearly a fourth of the victims are Iowa residents.
Many of the tainted salads have been distributed by West Des Moines, Iowa based Hy-Vee. But the source, according to the conclusions of a trace-back investigation led by the FDA and CDC, are salads produced by Fresh Express, a Florida company. Many other retailers are also linked to the outbreak, such as ALDI, Jewel-Osco and Walmart, all of whom purchase and sell products made by Fresh Express.
According to the CDC, as of June 28th, there are 206 laboratory-confirmed cyclospora victims associated with this outbreak in 8 states, including Illinois, Iowa, Kansas, Minnesota, Missouri, North Dakota, Nebraska, and Wisconsin. This number is expected to grow dramatically as victims become aware of the outbreak and are properly tested for cyclospora, a parasite that is endemic to tropical regions but only rarely occurs in the U.S., almost always linked to the importation of fruits vegetables from other countries.
The lawsuit was filed against Fresh Express and Hy-Vee in Dallas County, Iowa on behalf of Laure Guisinger. A copy of the lawsuit is available upon request.
Ms. Guisinger purchased the salad mix from the Hy-Vee in Waukee, Iowa on a weekly basis, including most recently on June 3, 2020. By June 10th, she began experiencing stomach cramps and bloating, nausea, and within days debilitating diarrhea. She was forced to seek medical treatment at the Iowa Clinic - West Des Moines Campus ER, and was later found to have cyclospora. The Dallas County Health Department later confirmed she was part of the Fresh Express Bagged Salad Mix Cyclospora outbreak.
Ms. Guisinger continues to recover from cyclospora food poisoning.
The "Bagged Salad" Cyclospora Outbreak
By mid-June, 2020, health officials from the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) had begun investigating an outbreak of cyclospora infections in the Midwestern United States. According to the CDC, epidemiological evidence quickly pointed to bagged salad mix. The tainted salad mix was widely distributed through retail outlets such as ALDI, Hy-Vee, Walmart, and Jewel-Osco.
On June 20, 2020, after becoming aware that some of its products were tainted with cyclospora, Hy-Vee and Jewel-Osco issued recalls for bagged salad products sold in several Midwestern states. By June 22, 2020, after its product was also linked to illnesses, ALDI also issued a recall.
By June 26, 2020, the FDA and CDC had identified additional vendors, such as Walmart, as well as the likely common-source of the outbreak, manufacturer Fresh Express. By June 28th, a total of 206 people with laboratory-confirmed cyclospora infections had been identified, with at least 23 requiring hospitalization.
The FDA has asked all consumers who have symptoms of cyclosporiasis to contact their health care provider to report their symptoms and receive care.
Food Safety Attorney Ron Simon Issues Statement for Victims and Establishes Cyclospora Claim Center
National food safety attorney Ron Simon, who represents Ms. Guisinger and other victims of the Fresh Express Bagged Salad Mix Cyclospora outbreak, issued the following statement today: "When food manufacturers, like Fresh Express, undertake to produce ready-to-eat foods, they have a duty to do so safely. This is especially true when they produce products like salad mixes for some of the largest food retailers in the U.S., knowing their product will be distributed to many thousands of families across multiple states. The FDA and CDC, in collaboration with state and local health agencies, did a remarkable job tracing this outbreak to its source, especially given the ongoing COVID pandemic that has strapped so many health agency resources. Our firm will use this and other lawsuits to help uncover how this outbreak started and how we can prevent it from happening again."
Mr. Simon and his law firm have established a Cyclospora Claim Center to assist victims in the outbreak. The Cyclospora Claim Center can be reached toll-free at 1-888-335-4901, or visit www.foodpoisoningnews.com or www.gardensaladlawsuit.com.
About Food Safety Attorney Ron Simon
Over the last 25 years, Ron Simon and his colleagues have prosecuted thousands of food poisoning cases for victims across the United States. His work has resulted in numerous upgrades to food safety procedures in Fortune 500 companies and in legislation designed to protect consumers from dangerous food-borne pathogens.
Mr. Simon and his clients have been featured on NBC, ABC, CBS, CNN, FOX and virtually all other major television networks and print media. Mr. Simon and his legal team have collected over $750,000,000 for their clients. He regularly publishes articles about food safety and litigation at www.foodpoisoningnews.com which are read by viewers in over 180 countries.
Through litigation, media commentary, and his food poisoning publications, Mr. Simon relentlessly challenges food manufacturers, distributors, and restaurants to do a better job in making our food safe.
For media inquiries or more information on the cyclospora outbreak and ongoing litigation, please contact Ron Simon directly at (713) 819-8116 or [email protected].
SOURCE Ron Simon & Associates