The Maricopa County Department of Public Health and Environmental Services in collaboration with the Arizona Department of Health Services is investigating an outbreak that appears to be linked to the Federico’s Mexican Restaurant located at 13132 W Camelback.

So far, at least 11 of the 15 individuals with bloody diarrhea that MCDPH has been able to interview have either purchased food from or eaten at this particular Federico’s. MCDPH has also received preliminary laboratory results indicating that the bacteria causing the illness is E. coli O157.

“Just to be clear, it is only this one Federico’s establishment where many of the cases have reported eating or purchasing food,” said Dr Bob England, director of MCDPH. “The investigation remains ongoing and we have all hands on deck to figure out the specific source.

The Maricopa County Environmental Services Department (MCESD) responded by inspecting the facility immediately and taking food samples. “The restaurant has been extremely cooperative with our investigation. In fact, out of an abundance of caution and concern for their customers, the restaurant is voluntarily closing,” said Steven Goode, deputy director for MCESD.

Anyone who has eaten at this particular Federico’s Mexican Food from on or after July 23 AND is experiencing bloody diarrhea should see a healthcare provider so a stool culture can be ordered. Options for people without a health care provider include urgent care centers or community health centers.

The illness appears to be caused by a class of bacteria that produces a toxin. This toxin can cause severe illness and, especially in children, can lead to kidney failure and even death.

It is important for health care providers to be aware of this outbreak because treating children with antibiotics for this bacteria can increase the risk of serious consequences. Providers who have patients who they suspect may be related to this outbreak should order a stool culture and contact MCDPH’s disease reporting line at 602-747-7500.

“Unfortunately, there is still much to uncover about this outbreak such as what specific food may have been contaminated, how the food was contaminated and how many people have been exposed. As we discover this information, we will continue to share with the public,” England added.

Past Inspections

8-1-13

No county legal will result from this inspection. Discussed the five reportable foodborne illnesses and corresponding symptoms employees must report to the Person in Charge to reduce the risk of transmission of foodborne illness. Advised Person in Charge to create and maintain an employee illness log. Cooking and holding temperatures of PHF/TCS food items were found to be in compliance. However, cooked chilies were observed to have been improperly cooled. Cooled chilies were found to be between 62-63°F after cooling for 6 hours. Chiles were embargoed. Reviewed the time/temperature milestones that must be achieved to properly and safely cool PHF/TCS foods. Chiles were embargoed; see form. In addition, took samples of suspect food items. See embargo form. Discussed proper hand washing procedures with Person in Charge. Advised Person in Charge to remind employees that within the 20-second hand wash requirement, hands must be scrubbed with soap between 10 to 15 seconds. Discussed proper ware washing procedures. Advised person in charge that all food contact surfaces in continuous contact with potentially hazardous food items must be washed, rinsed and sanitized no less than every 4 hours if under room temperature. Investigation conducted with RS 1021.

5-29-13

3-501.16(A)(2) and (B), P: Potentially Hazardous Food (Time/Temperature Control for Safety Food), Cold Holding: Shredded cooked and raw pork, shredded cooked and raw beef, cooked shrimp, breaded cooked fish, breaded cooked chili (egg battered), cut deli ham held in reach in cooler at 50 F. Deli ham in walk in cooler held at 47 F. Manger was notified and Items were discarded.

4-301.11, Pf: Cooling, Heating, and Holding Capacities-Equipment: Reach in cooler in the cook line works at 53 F. Must repair.

3-14-13

6-501.12, C: Cleaning, Frequency and Restrictions: Floor around the cove in dry storage room is covered with food debris beans, flour and seeds. Must clean as often as needed.

11-8-12

7-202.12, P: Conditions of Use***** Observed can of Raid insecticide in office stored on shelf above rags used in sanitizer buckets in establishment. Person in charge voluntarily discarded. Person in charge states that pest control is done once a month in establishment. Only a licensed pest control applicator may apply pesticide in establishment, please increase frequency of treatment if needed.

9-5-12

3-501.16(A)(2) and (B), P: Potentially Hazardous Food (Time/Temperature Control for Safety Food), Cold Holding – Various items were observed out of temperature. In the sandwich table refrigerator the following items were at the noted temperatures; sliced tomatoes @ 50.1° F, sour cream @ 48.7° F, guacamole @ 51.5° F, Pico de Gallo @ 49.8 ° F, Shredded lettuce @ 47.1° F, Special beef @ 49.0° F, raw beef @ 51.0° F, and raw bacon @ 52.8° F. I had items that had been in the cooler for more than 6 hours discarded and the remainder of products adopted time as a temperature control until unit could be repaired. Also salsa in salsa bar were observed in plastic containers @ 45.7° F and 47.8° F. The salsas were removed from the plastic containers and placed in metal ones which transferred the cold from the ice better and they regained proper temperature.3-501.15 (A), Pf: Cooling Methods – A container of cooked shrimp was observed sitting on a shelf at 98.1° F. Per employee it had finished cooking about two hours prior but it was not known when they reached 135° F. I had the shrimp placed in a colander and bathed in ice water until they reached proper cold holding temperature and then placed in the refrigerator. 4-301.11, Pf: Cooling, Heating, and Holding Capacities-Equipment – The sandwich table refrigerator was not maintaining products at proper temperature. Call repair technician immediately. I will re-inspect for repair.

2-16-12

3-501.16(A)(1), P: Potentially Hazardous Food (Time/Temperature Control for Safety Food), Hot Holding Cooked rice in hot holding unit in near preparation table was 93*F. Refried beans along cook line was 113-129*F. Potentially hazardous food items need to be held at 135*F or above. Food items were heated immediately on stove.

Bravo Farms Gouda Cheese E. coli Outbreak Lawsuits – Southwestern US (2010)

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United Food Group E. coli Outbreak Lawsuits – Western States (2007)

Dole Spinach E. coli Outbreak Lawsuits – Nationwide (2006)

E. coli:  Marler Clark, The Food Safety Law Firm, is the nation’s leading law firm representing victims of E. coli outbreaks and hemolytic uremic syndrome (HUS). The E. coli lawyers of Marler Clark have represented thousands of victims of E. coli and other foodborne illness infections and have recovered over $600 million for clients. Marler Clark is the only law firm in the nation with a practice focused exclusively on foodborne illness litigation.  Our E. coli lawyers have litigated E. coli and HUS cases stemming from outbreaks traced to ground beef, raw milk, lettuce, spinach, sprouts, and other food products.  The law firm has brought E. coli lawsuits against such companies as Jack in the Box, Dole, ConAgra, Cargill, and Jimmy John’s.  We have proudly represented such victims as Brianne Kiner, Stephanie Smith and Linda Rivera.

If you or a family member became ill with an E. coli infection or HUS after consuming food and you’re interested in pursuing a legal claim, contact the Marler Clark E. coli attorneys for a free case evaluation.

Seattle-based Marler Clark and Chicago-based Newland & Newland filed a second E. coli lawsuit yesterday against Los Burritos Mexicanos on behalf of a man who claims to have fallen ill with an E. coliinfection after eating at the restaurant.

Los Burritos Mexicanos was sued yesterday by a man who alleges he fell ill with an E. coli infection and was hospitalized after eating food prepared at the restaurant in June.  The lawsuit is the second filed against the restaurant in DuPage County Superior Court by Seattle-based Marler Clark, the nation’s leading law firm representing victims of foodborne illness, and Chicago-based Newland & Newland.

In the lawsuit, plaintiff Quinten Hayley alleges he fell ill with an E. coli infection after eating at Los Burritos Mexicanos on June 7, 2013.  Mr. Hayley alleges that he fell ill with symptoms of E. coli infection, including bloody diarrhea and severe abdominal cramps, on June 10 and was admitted to the hospital after a visit to the Emergency Room on June 11.  Court documents state that Mr. Hayley was hospitalized for four days and has continued to experience symptoms of E. coli infection since being discharged on June 14.  The complaint states that a stool specimen submitted while the plaintiff was hospitalized tested positive for E. coli O157:H7.   The DuPage County Health Department announced that at least 31 people, including one who developed Hemolytic Uremic Syndrome have been linked to this E. coli outbreak.

BACKGROUND:  Marler Clark has represented thousands of victims of foodborne illness in the 20 years since the Jack in the Box E. coli outbreak.  The law firm has secured over $600,000,000 on behalf of victims of E. coli, Salmonella and other foodborne illness outbreaks.  Together with Newland & Newland, the law firm has represented victims of several Chicago-area foodborne illness outbreaks.

King County Public Health agency shut down an Ethiopian restaurant in Seattle’s central district on Wednesday afternoon after connecting the establishment to an outbreak of E. coli O157:H7, health agency spokeswoman Kathryn Ross has confirmed to Food Safety News.

At least two people have fallen ill in the outbreak, and Ross said the likelihood of others being sickened is uncertain.

In its closure notification, the agency cited Ambassel Ehtiopian Cuisine & Bar with five safety violations, including the outbreak.

Other violations included foods not being protected from cross-contamination, improperly sanitized equipment, and poor personal hygiene among employees due to inadequate handwashing facilities.

Ross said that the specific cause of the outbreak was not yet known, and the agency would have more information soon on when or whether the restaurant will reopen.

E. coli:  Marler Clark, The Food Safety Law Firm, is the nation’s leading law firm representing victims of E. coli outbreaks and hemolytic uremic syndrome (HUS). The E. coli lawyers of Marler Clark have represented thousands of victims of E. coli and other foodborne illness infections and have recovered over $600 million for clients. Marler Clark is the only law firm in the nation with a practice focused exclusively on foodborne illness litigation.  Our E. coli lawyers have litigated E. coli and HUS cases stemming from outbreaks traced to ground beef, raw milk, lettuce, spinach, sprouts, and other food products.  The law firm has brought E. coli lawsuits against such companies as Jack in the Box, Dole, ConAgra, Cargill, and Jimmy John’s.  We have proudly represented such victims as Brianne Kiner, Stephanie Smith and Linda Rivera.

If you or a family member became ill with an E. coli infection or HUS after consuming food and you’re interested in pursuing a legal claim, contact the Marler Clark E. coli attorneys for a free case evaluation.

The Missouri Department of Health and Senior Services (DHSS) is investigating an increase in cases of Shiga toxin-producing Escherichia coli (STEC) in Central Missouri during late March and early April, 2012. Five cases of E. coli O157:H7 have been identified during this time period. Two of the cases, a two-year old child and a seventeen-month old child, reportedly have developed hemolytic uremic syndrome (HUS), a severe, life-threatening condition that may result in permanent kidney damage in some of those who survive.

Marler Clark has been involved with other E. coli cases in Missouri:

Screen Shot 2011-12-27.pngAnother E. coli lawsuit will be filed today against grocery chain Schnucks Supermarkets and Oklahoma-based romaine lettuce distributor Vaughan Foods. According to a complaint filed in St. Louis County Circuit Court, 61-year old Charles Meyer ate romaine lettuce from a Cool Valley, Missouri Schnucks location on several occasions prior to October 24, 2011 when he began experiencing painful gastrointestinal symptoms indicative of an E. coli infection including bloody diarrhea. The symptoms persisted and Mr. Meyer visited the doctor’s office on October 26 where he was diagnosed with food poisoning and sent to the emergency room for treatment. While in the ER, Mr. Meyer gave a stool sample which ultimately tested positive for a strain of E. coli associated with an E. coli O157:H7 outbreak linked to romaine lettuce sold at Schnucks supermarkets. He was then admitted to St. John’s Mercy Hospital where he was treated until discharged on October 30.

1schnucks.gifST. LOUIS – Marler Clark, the nation’s leading law firm representing victims of E. coli outbreaks, along with St. Louis-based law firm Aleshire Robb & Sivils filed a lawsuit today on behalf of a St. Louis woman who was hospitalized with an E. coli O157:H7 infection after consuming romaine lettuce at a local Schnucks supermarket salad bar.

According to a complaint (#IISL-CC04859) filed in St. Louis County Circuit Court, Mary Kozlowski ate romaine lettuce at a Schnucks salad bar three times in October.  By October 21, she began experiencing gastrointestinal symptoms indicative of an E. coli infection.  Ms. Kozlowski was admitted to Mercy Hospital on October 27.  Her condition continued to deteriorate and she developed hemolytic uremic syndrome (HUS), a serious complication of an E. coli infection that caused her kidneys to fail.   Ms. Kozlowski was also treated for anemia, an irregular heartbeat, severe fluid retention, and a pulmonary embolism. Ms. Kozlowski was released from the hospital on November 7; however, the complaint alleges that she still suffers ongoing symptoms related to her illness and has sustained permanent damage to her kidneys.

“My client has endured a great deal of terror, pain, and suffering – all because she ate a salad,” said Kozlowski’s attorney William Marler.  “When you purchase food, you believe it may do a number of things – provide nourishment, taste good, or even just fill you up. What you don’t intend is for that food to endanger your life.”

Ms. Kozlowski’s illness is one of at least 60 E. coli illnesses associated with what the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) is calling a 10-state E. coli outbreak linked to romaine lettuce used in salad bars in various Schnucks stores.  According to a CDC report published December 7, the romaine lettuce came from a single source, though neither Schnucks nor the CDC has released its name. The romaine lettuce was also served at universities in Minnesota and Missouri.

MARLER CLARK is the foremost law firmed dedicated solely to representing victims of foodborne illness.  The law firm’s E. coli lawyers have unparalleled experience and have recovered over $600,000,000 for victims of foodborne illness since 1993.  To speak with an attorney, or if you are a member of the media and would like to view a copy of the complaint, contact Cody Moore at 1-206-407-2200 or cmoore@marlerclark.com.

On or about October 14, 2010, 14-year-old MK and her mother Lois Kirby shopped at the Costco warehouse store located at 8686 Park Meadows Center, Lone Tree, Colorado. MK ate a sample of Bravo Farms’ gouda cheese that was contaminated by E. coli O157:H7. Within a few days, MK began to feel ill and quickly developed gastrointestinal symptoms including severe abdominal cramps and diarrhea. On or about October 19, 2010, Lois and Glyn Kirby had to rush MK to a local urgent care clinic. Diagnostic tests, at that point, did not reveal that MK had been infected by E. coli O157:H7. Her parents rushed her to Phoenix Children’s Hospital the next morning. At the hospital, MK continued to suffer from severe symptoms, and required intravenous fluids for rehydration, as well as narcotic pain medication. After hours spent in the emergency department, the physicians treating MK acknowledged that they could do little more than keep MK hydrated. MK continued to suffer symptoms of her E. coli O157:H7 infection, and required additional care by her regular pediatrician. MK continues to recover from her illness.