Food safety lawyer calls on DeFranco & Sons to pay medical bills for hazelnuts victims

Food safety lawyer Fred Pritzker is calling on DeFranco & Sons, a Los Angeles, California wholesaler to pay medical bills and other costs incurred by victims of the multi-state E. coli O157:H7 outbreak associated with eating in-the-shell hazelnuts, also known as filberts. Forty-three percent of the people infected by the outbreak strain of E. coli O157:H7 have been hospitalized for treatment, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC).

"It is only fair that DeFranco & Sons pay for hospitalization and other direct costs while related legal issues, including pain and suffering, are pending,'' Pritzker said. "The families deserve that peace of mind.''

To date, seven persons infected with the outbreak strain of E. coli O157:H7 (read about PFGE) have been reported from Michigan (1 case), Minnesota (3 cases), and Wisconsin (3 cases), according to the CDC. In Minnesota, all three E. coli victims were male and over 50 years of age. They were residents of Hennepin, Redwood, and Stearns counties. Two were hospitalized. The Wisconsin cases occurred in La Crosse and Brown County and included a child and two adults. None of the three Wisconsin residents was hospitalized.

In response to this outbreak, DeFranco issued a recall of hazelnuts and mixed nut products distributed from November 2, 2010, to December 22, 2010. Recalled hazelnut products were shipped to stores in Minnesota, Iowa, Michigan, Montana, North Dakota, South Dakota, and Wisconsin. For a list of stores involved in the recall, see Hazelnuts (Filberts) Recall List.

Source: DeFranco & Sons

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