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Illnesses Reported at Pita Hot in Orange County, California

Pita Hot Open for Business Despite Hundreds of Reports of Illness

Family-owned restaurant Pita Hot serves up Mediterranean fare in Orange County, California. Highly rated by customers, Pita Hot is known for their beef and chicken Shawarma, kabobs, lamb and falafel. Over the past few weeks, however, hundreds of loyal patrons have reported major illness following their dining experience at the Pita Hot. Health officials are linking these reports to the extremely common, yet potentially dangerous, Norovirus. More than 685 million cases of this gastrointestinal illness are thought to occur worldwide, annually, resulting in approximately 200,00 deaths.

Despite the high number of reported illnesses, the Pita Hot has been given the green light to continue operating. Closed for one day only, during which Pita Hot was instructed clean and dispose of more than 1,200 lbs. of potentially contaminated food, they were allowed to reopen their doors the following day. Health inspectors have since linked the virus to sick employees. The norovirus can transmit through various channels- the air, contaminated surfaces or person-to-person contact. In this case there is confirmation of at least two sick employees. As a condition of re-opening the sick employees were required to vacate the premises for a minimum of 72 hours following the end of all symptoms.

By law, restaurants must report cases of two or more restaurant employees experiencing gastrointestinal illness to the local enforcement agency. It is unclear if employee illnesses were reported or if the outbreak was surfaced by the nearly two hundred restaurant patrons. In addition to the ill workers, the local enforcement called out several concerns related to conditions at the restaurant that can contribute to food related illness. These concerns were related in part to incorrect temperatures of stored foods. In particular, they found meats kept at too low of a temperature, creating a breeding ground for foodborne bacterium. Additionally, they report dirty conditions and employees living at the restaurant.

As there are no mandates specific to the amount of time a restaurant must be closed in the case of a foodborne illness outbreak, the health department makes the call they deem appropriate. A protocol is followed that identifies the violations, determines the source and actions are taken to mitigate any further problems. Once the restaurant is found to be in compliance the health department will allow re-opening. At this time, Pita Hot has taken the corrective actions as directed by Orange County Health Department and can resume serving up their Mediterranean fare. With hundreds having fallen ill from improper food handling and ill employees – hopefully Pita Hot will take much greater care going forward.

For more information about Illnesses Reported at Pita Hot in Orange County, California, or to speak to a food poisoning lawyer, call 1-888-335-4901.

 Food Poisoning Lawyer Provides Advice on Proper Cooking for Safe Burgers

A good barbecue starts off as a safe barbecue, says Food Poisoning Lawyer Tony Coveny with Ron Simon & Associates.  Summertime is the smell of burning charcoal and searing meat. The aroma of barbecue wafts throughout neighborhoods. As you plan your next grill-out with your friends and family, make sure you have all the necessary tools for a great meal, including essential food safety supplies like a meat thermometer.

The heat from the grill kills bacteria, but you want to make sure to destroy all of the potential foodborne illness-causing pathogens. To do this, you can’t merely look at the color of the burger to determine if it’s safe to eat. If the inside is pink, that is a dead giveaway the internal temperature has yet to reach 160 degrees, so you need to continue grilling your burgurs. If the inside is brown, this does not necessarily mean the burger has reached an internal temperature of 160 degrees Fahrenheit. To check the internal temperature, pull the burger aside and use a meat thermometer to read the internal temperature of the burger. Allowing burgers to “rest” for three minutes will give the internal heat more time to destroy remaining bacteria inside the burger.

Ground beef is especially dangerous when it comes to food safety because of its surface area. Because ground beef has large contact surface area, any contamination from bacteria results in those pathogens being able to spread and grow throughout the ground beef.

Consuming undercooked meat increases your likelihood of becoming ill from a foodborne pathogen. According to the CDC, raw meats may contain Salmonella, E. coli, Yersinia, and other bacteria (CDC). Ingesting contaminated meats may result in an infection with symptoms ranging from vomiting and fever to blooding bowel movements. In some instances, severe infections from E. coli may cause kidney failure and hemolytic uremic syndrome (HUS).

Here’s a link with some cooking guidelines from meats:

To speak to a food poisoning lawyer about ground beef food poisoning, call 1-888-335-4901.

Chipotle Food Poisoning Lawyer: Chipotle faced with fourth subpoena stemming from 2018 illnesses

Following multiple incidents of foodborne illness at one of its Ohio locations, Chipotle continues to be questioned about its food handling and food safety procedures. US Federal prosecutors served the restaurant chain’s corporate office with a fourth subpoena in April 2019 in an effort to investigate the cause of approximately 700 illnesses at Chipotle’s Powell, Ohio, restaurant.

This latest subpoena is part of an ongoing criminal investigation conducted by the US Attorney’s office for the Central District of California. Previous subpoenas have been issued to investigate food poisoning incidents at Chipotle’s restaurant locations in California, Massachusetts, and Virginia that also caused hundreds of illnesses among restaurant patrons.

The Food and Drug Administration (FDA) continues to investigate the incidents in Ohio as well as those that resulted in e. coli, salmonella, and norovirus outbreaks across multiple states in previous years. In the Ohio cases that occurred in late July 2018, the FDA determined that food was left at unsafe temperatures. Hundreds of Chipotle customers developed symptoms that included diarrhea, vomiting, and nausea, from the bacteria clostridium perfringens that developed in the food that was improperly handled.

The food safety law firm of Ron Simon & Associates established a Chipotle Claims Center to handle cases on behalf of those customers who became ill after eating at the Powell, Ohio, restaurant. Simon explained that his firm “represents numerous victims of this outbreak, and we have prosecuted hundreds of cases in the past against Chipotle. Unfortunately, this is the seventh outbreak caused by Chipotle in recent years.”

After news of the fourth subpoena served to Chipotle broke on April 25, the company’s shares fell 5 percent.

Call to speak to one of the Chipotle Food Poisoning Lawyers at Ron Simon & Associates, who have been involved in many recent Chipotle food poisoning outbreaks.

Raw Beef E. Coli Lawsuit Lawyer: Second company recalls raw ground beef products

Two companies have now announced recalls of raw ground beef products potentially linked to the e. coli outbreak affecting consumers in at least ten states. On April 23, K2D Foods, doing business as Colorado Premium Foods in Carrolton, Georgia, recalled approximately 113,424 pounds of raw ground beef products that may be contaminated with E. coli O103. On April 24, Grant Park Packing, based in Franklin Park, Illinois, recalled approximately 53,200 pounds of raw ground beef products that may be contaminated with the same strain of e. coli.

Grant Park Packing shipped its potentially contaminated ground beef products to Minnesota for further distribution and to Kentucky for institutional use. In the continuing investigation being conducted by the Food and Drug Administration (FDA), the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), and local and state health officials, it has been determined that many of the consumers who became ill had eaten ground beef products in a restaurant.

Recalled raw ground beef products distributed by Grant Park Packing were produced on October 30-31, 2018, and November 1, 2018. They include 40-lb. bulk cardboard boxes of “North Star Imports & Sales, LLC. 100% GROUND BEEF BULK 80% LEAN/ 20% FAT” marked “FOR INSTITUTIONAL USE ONLY” with lot code GP.1051.18 and pack dates 10/30/2018, 10/31/2018, and 11/01/2018. The products subject to recall bear establishment number “EST. 21781” inside the USDA mark of inspection.

Raw Beef E. Coli Lawsuit Lawyer Update: The e. coli outbreak has now caused 156 illnesses across 10 states – all from E. coli O103, a distinct form of E. coli that is distinct form the more common E. coli O157:H7. Health officials expect the number of illnesses as well as the number of states impacted to increase, as more reports come in from medical facilities treating victims.  The lag-time form illness to being counted in the official numbers can be as long as three to four weeks.  Many victims will also never be counted because they did not provide a stool specimen for a stool culture.

According to Raw Beef E. Coli Lawsuit Lawyer Ron Simon, “thee victims are all entitled to seek damages in a Raw Beef E. Coli Lawsuit against the manufacturers.  I suspect we are only days away form FDA and CDC identifying the source of the contamination.”

For more information about a Raw Beef E. Coli Lawsuit ,  or to speak to a Raw Beef E. Coli Lawsuit Lawyer, call 1-888-335-4901.

Listeria Attorney:  Another  butter recall issued for Listeria
Another recall has been issued for organic nut butters. The most recall is for a variety of Wholesome Pantry Organic nut butters that may be contaminated with listeria monocytogenes. Wakefern Food Corp., based in Keasbey, New Jersey, issued the recall out of concern that the nut butters may pose a health risk to consumers.
Wakefern’s supplier, Oskri Organics Corporation of Lake Mills, Wisconsin, notified the company that several nut butters produced in the Oskri facility had tested positive for listeria. The potentially contaminated nut butters were sold in ShopRite, Price Rite Marketplace, The Fresh Grocer, and Dearborn Market stores located in New Jersey, New York, Pennsylvania, Connecticut, Maryland, Massachusetts, Delaware, Rhode Island, and Virginia.
Five varieties of Wholesome Pantry Organic nut butters are included in the recall. All are packed in 16-ounce plastic jars, with best by dates on or before June 2020. The recall includes:

According to Listeria Attorney Ron Simon: “ Listeria is most dangerous to the elderly, those with weak immune systems, and to pregnant women due to Listeria’s impact of fetal growth and development, even causing still-births and miscarriages.”
Listeria monocytogenes is an organism that can cause serious and sometimes fatal infections in young children, frail or elderly people, and others with weakened immune systems. Although healthy individuals may suffer only short-term symptoms such as high fever, severe headache, stiffness, nausea, abdominal pain and diarrhea, Listeria infection can cause miscarriages and stillbirths among pregnant women.
Consumers who have any of these nut butters in their homes should not eat them. Rather, they should dispose of them properly or return them to the store where they were purchased.
Need to talk to a Listeria Attorney who specializes in food poisoning? For more information about the Wholesome Pantry Organic nut butters Listeria Recall, or to speak to a listeria attorney, call 1-888-335-4901.

Raw ground beef recalled by Illinois retail store
A store in Mt Prospect, Illinois, is recalling 54 pounds of raw ground beef after health inspectors determined it may be contaminated with e. coli. The U.S. Department of Agriculture’s Food Safety and Inspection Service (FSIS) discovered the issue through routine product sampling on March 14, 2019. As a result, La Rosita Fresh Market Inc., recalled ground beef items that were ground in the store and packaged for consumers behind the meat counter.
Potentially contaminated raw ground beef items were packed on March 13 and March 14, 2019 and sold at La Rosita Fresh Market, located at 1805 W. Algonquin Rd in Mt Prospect. Recalled ground beef items include varying weights of ground beef packed in white traLa Rosita Fresh Market beef recallys with plastic wrap. The label contains “MOLIDA DE RES GROUND BEEF” and either “Packed On 3/13/19 Sell By 3/20/19” or “Packed On 3/14/19 Sell By 3/21/19.”
FSIS warns anyone who may have these raw ground beef items at home not to consume them, as they may pose a health hazard. E. coli O157:H7 is a potentially deadly bacterium that can cause dehydration, bloody diarrhea and abdominal cramps 2–8 days (3–4 days, on average) after exposure the organism. While most people recover within a week, some develop a type of kidney failure called hemolytic uremic syndrome (HUS). This condition can occur among persons of any age but is most common in children under 5-years old and older adults. It is marked by easy bruising, pallor, and decreased urine output. Persons who experience these symptoms should seek emergency medical care immediately.
For more information about the La Rosita Fresh Market recall or to speak to an E. coli lawyer, call 1-888-335-4901 and discus your E. coli lawsuit with an experienced food poisoning lawyer.

Salmonella Post-Infectious Irritable Bowel Syndrome Lawsuit: Post-Infectious Irritable Bowel Syndrome (PI-IBS) Affects About 1-in 20 Food Poisoning Voctims 
Foodborne illnesses can render the small intestines imbalanced. After a malicious bout of food poisoning, the composition of the small intestinal tract microbiota can be left…compromised, to say the least.
In order to orchestrate an array functions like protecting the body against pathogens, alerting the immune system of threats, and digesting/metabolizing insoluble fibers, the gut microbiome needs to have balance.

Tony Coveny, PhD, Infectious Disease Attorney

Food poisonings disrupt the balance of microbes in the small intestine. This imbalance can lead to the chronic inflammation of the small intestines called infectious enteritis (EI) and post-infectious irritable bowel syndrome (PI-IBS).
[Note:  Need to file a Salmonella Post-Infectious Irritable Bowel Syndrome Lawsuit?]
According to the National Institute of Diabetes and Digestive and Kidney Diseases, IBS is a disorder “associated with abdominal pain, bloating, and diarrhea or constipation or both,” and “foodborne illnesses caused by bacteria increase the risk of developing IBS” (NIDDK)[1].  The term “post-infectious” indicates the connection between having a bout of food poisoning and developing IBS.
Becoming ill from a foodborne pathogen puts you at risk for developing post-infectious IBS (PI-IBS).  There is a growing correlation between individuals recovering from a bout of foodborne illness and PI-IBS. According to an article published in Gastroenterology, the “risk of IBS was 4.2-fold higher in patients who had infectious enteritis in the past 12 months than in individuals in those who had not” (Klem). Additionally, the International Foundation for Gastrointestinal Disorders claims, “between 6–17% of individuals with IBS” associated their condition and an infectious illness” (IFFGD)[2].
Pathogens like Salmonella, Escherichia coli, Staphylococcus aureus, and Norovirus (viral) and protozoal Giardia lamblia(Klem)[3] all increase the likelihood of developing PI-IBS.
Unfortunately, a widely accepted management strategy PI-IBS does not exist. Diets containing prebiotics and dietary fiber can help modulate the gut microbiota, but there is no cure for PI-IBS.
[3] Klem, Fabiane et al. “Prevalence, Risk Factors, and Outcomes of Irritable Bowel Syndrome After Infectious Enteritis: A Systematic Review and Meta-analysis” Gastroenterology vol. 152,5 (2017): 1042-1054.e1.
Speak to a Post-Infectious IBS Lawyer

Cyclospora Lawyer Ron Simon Files Del Monte Cyclospora Lawsuit in Wisconsin as Cyclospora Outbreak Grows – Additional Cyclospora Lawsuits Anticipated
The Cyclospora lawyers at Ron Simon & Associates have filed a lawsuit on behalf of one of the many victims of food poisoning cyclosporiasis, caused by ingestion of Cyclospora parasites.  The parasites were in a Del Monte veggie tray, sold at Kwik Trip/Kwik Star stores throughout Minnesota and Wisconsin.  There are about 78 confirmed cases now, and this is expected to increase as surveillance and monitoring expand with the publication of the outbreak.
For a copy of the Complaint filed by Ron Simon & Associates,  filed in La Crosse, Wisconsin (the headquarters of Kwik Trip), you may email or call 1-888-335-4901.  The lawsuit was the first filed by Ron Simon & Associates, who represent numerous Cyclospora victims and have handled major outbreaks of Cyclospora in the past, including Bob’s Taco Station and the Olive Garden/Red Lobster outbreak of Cyclospora.
For more infomration about the Del Monte Cyclospora Lawsuit Filed by Ron Simon & Associates, or Cyclospora in general, call 1-888-335-4901.

Del Monte recalls vegetable trays in cyclospora outbreak
Certain vegetable trays containing fresh broccoli, cauliflower, celery sticks, carrots, and dill dip have been recalled by Del Monte Fresh Produce NA, Inc., because of their potential to be contaminated with cyclospora. The vegetable trays were distributed to select retailers in Illinois, Indiana, Iowa, Michigan, Minnesota, and Wisconsin.
Del Monte has recalled 6 ounce, 12 ounce, and 28 ounce vegetable trays that were distributed to Kwik Trip, Kwik Star, Demond’s, Sentry, Potash, Meehan’s, Country Market, Food Max Supermarket, and Peapod. The products are marked with a “Best If Enjoyed By” date of June 17, 2018, or earlier. Del Monte 6 oz. Veg Tray w/dip is marked with UPC 7 1752472715 2; Del Monte 12 oz. Veg Tray w/dip is marked with UPC 7 1752472518 9; and Del Monte 28 oz. Small Veg Tray w/dip is marked with UPC 7 1752478604 3.
These packages, distributed for sale in clear plastic containers, should be disposed of properly. Consumers who have purchased the recall products should not eat them.
Cyclospora is a parasite that can cause the intestinal illness Cyclosporiasis. According to the Centers for Disease Control (CDC), the infection usually is not life threatening. Symptoms of Cyclosporiasis may include watery diarrhea (most common), loss of appetite, weight loss, cramping, bloating, increased gas, nausea, and fatigue. Other symptoms that may occur, but are less common, include vomiting and/or low-grade fever.
If you have purchased or consumed any of the potentially contaminated Del Monte vegetable trays, please contact the food poisoning lawyers at 1-888-335-4901 to learn more about filing a lawsuit.

The Food Safety Blog Recent Outbreaks and Recalls Across the United States