First lawsuit filed in connection with whole hog recall

by MEAT+POULTRY staff
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HOUSTON – The law firm of Ron Simon & Associates, which specializes in food poisoning litigation, filed the first lawsuit on Aug. 14 stemming from the recent outbreak of Salmonella linked to roasted whole hogs in Washington State. Kapowsin Meats, a Graham, Wash., hog wholesaler, announced a recall of approximately 116,262 lbs. of whole hogs that may be contaminated with Salmonella, the US Dept. of Agriculture’s Food Safety and Inspection Service (FSIS) announced Aug. 13. The item being recalled is Kapowsin Meats’ hogs for barbeque item that were produced between April 18 and July 27.

On July 15, the Washington State Dept. of Health notified FSIS of an investigation of Salmonella illnesses. After continuing the investigation in conjunction with the Washington State Dept. of Health and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), FSIS discovered a link between whole hogs from Kapowsin Meats and the illnesses. A traceback investigation has identified 32 patients who consumed meat from the company’s whole hogs prior to illness onset.

The 32 documented illnesses are part of a larger illness investigation, according to FSIS. Based on epidemiological evidence, 134 case-patients have been identified in Washington with illness onset dates ranging from April 25 to July 29. FSIS continues to work with public health partners on this ongoing investigation. FSIS and the company are concerned that some product may be frozen and in consumers' freezers.

The lawsuit was filed in Pierce County on behalf of Tiffany and Naylyn Guiles, after Naylyn, 19 months old, became ill and was hospitalized after eating bits of roasted whole hog served at a celebration. According to the law firm, she was one of about 18 individuals who were sickened after being served pork from a whole roasted hog purchased from Stewart’s Meats, which is supplied by Kapowsin Meats. The party where the food was served was June 28, and Naylyn became ill on June 29.

Physicians treated the child for high fever, vomiting, abdominal pain, diarrhea, malaise, dehydration, chills, and dry lips and sunken eyes. She was hospitalized and treated, before being released on July 3. A stool sample test was performed and confirmed that Naylyn was a part of the Washington Salmonella outbreak linked to whole roasted hogs from Kapowsin Meats, according to the attorney.
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