The Ohio foodservice supplier caught in the middle of an E. coli outbreak now faces a lawsuit.
Seattle-based attorney Bill Marler filed a lawsuit against Freshway Foods, Sidney, Ohio, May 11, on behalf of a Columbus resident alleging the person became ill with an E. coli O145 infection after eating lettuce distributed by Freshway Foods, according to Food Safety News, owned by Marler’s law firm Marler Clark LLP.
The lawsuit names Freshway Foods as well as the grower and distributors of the contaminated lettuce as defendants, according to Food Safety News.
The Food and Drug Administration confirmed that the outbreak of E. coli O145 in three states is linked to fresh romaine lettuce from Freshway Foods on May 10, and is investigating a farm in Yuma, Ariz., in connection with the outbreak.
Freshway recalled certain romaine products under the Freshway Foods and Imperial Sysco brands May 6. The next day, Andrew Smith Co., Spreckels, Calif., was contacted by the FDA that it shipped lettuce from the same Yuma ranch under investigation in the Freshway Foods case.
The FDA, Centers for Disease Control and Prevention Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and state health agencies report 19 confirmed illnesses from the Freshway Foods outbreak in Michigan, New York and Ohio, with at least 10 more possibly linked as of May 10.
Vaughan Foods, Moore, Okla., which supplies packaged lettuce to foodservice operators, received some of the Andrew Smith Co. romaine harvested from the farm being investigated as the source. Vaughan Foods’ lettuce, with “use-by” dates of May 9 and May 10, went to restaurants and foodservice facilities and not retailers, according to a May 10 FDA release.