A woman in Minnesota, who became sick after eating cucumbers believed to be contaminated with salmonella, is now suing a California company where the sickening produce allegedly originated from.
Kathleen Dvergsten filed a lawsuit against San Diego-based Andrew and Williamson Fresh Produce, Inc. on Monday, Sept. 7, after she fell sick when she consumed cucumbers from the company allegedly contaminated with the bacteria salmonella.
Dvergsten stated that she contracted the infection when she ate salad at a Red Lobster branch in Farmington. She fell ill on Aug. 14 and was confined at a hospital for almost a week.
Officials from Andrew and Williamson Fresh Produce have issued a voluntary recall on Friday of the company's cucumbers branded "Limited Edition." The produce company said that it is conducting an investigation to find out if the cucumbers are linked to the recent outbreak that has afflicted close to 300 individuals in 27 states.
According to Dvergsten's lawsuit, Andrew and Williamson Fresh Produce is expected to sell food that is safe for consumption. It also mentioned that Dvergsten is seeking an unspecified amount as compensation for causing her pain and suffering and to cover medical expenses as well.
Dave Murray, a representative of the company, declined to provide any comment regarding the lawsuit since litigation is now pending.
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) reported that a California woman has died and 53 other individuals have been hospitalized after consuming cucumbers from Baja California in Mexico that were contaminated with salmonella. Around half of the patients were under 18 years old.
The U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) traced the source of the spoiled produce to Andrew and Williamson Fresh Produce based on studies of infection clusters by state and federal authorities.
The CDC defines salmonellosis as a serious infection caused by the salmonella bacteria. Symptoms of the sickness include fever, diarrhea and abdominal cramps that develop from 12 to 72 hours after contracting the bacterial infection.
Salmonellosis typically lasts from four to seven days, and most patients recover from the sickness even without treatment.
In some infection cases, the salmonella bacteria could potentially spread from the patient's intestines to their blood stream, which will then carry the infection to other parts of the body. In these cases, salmonellosis patients could die unless they are treated with antibiotics promptly.
The bacterial infection mostly affects elderly individuals, infants and those with weak immune systems.
Photo: Stacy Spensley | Flickr