The U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA), together with the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), and state and local officials in at least nine states are investigating an outbreak of Salmonella Virchow linked to Garden of Life brand RAW Meal Organic Shake & Meal Replacement products. Garden of Life is a Florida company headquartered in Palm Beach Gardens. The CDC is coordinating the efforts of public health investigators by using PulseNet, the national database that holds the pulsed-field gel electrophoresis (PFGE) identifiers on cases of Salmonella bacteria, uploaded from laboratories testing the stool cultures of potential victims. So far, the CDC has identified 11 victims in Minnesota (2), New Jersey (2), New Mexico (1), Ohio (1), Oklahoma (1) Oregon (1), Tennessee (1), Utah (1), and Wisconsin (1). They expect that number to rise as new victims are tested.
According to the CDC, the first victim was identified on December 5, 2015, and the most recent one on January 21, 2016. The youngest victim is an 8-year-old, while the oldest is 76 years old. So far, 6 are men with only one victim requiring hospitalization so far.
The Fast Moving Investigation of the Outbreak
During the trace-back stage of the investigation, all 10 of the victims interviewed reported ingesting RAW Meal products during the 14 days leading up to their illnesses. Given this clear and incontrovertible evidence, on January 29th of Life made the decision to recall all chocolate, original, vanilla, and vanilla chai RAW Meal Organic Shake & Meal products from stores across the nation. Then, in the epidemiological state of the investigation, the Utah Public Health Laboratory reported major breakthrough. On January 31st they isolated Salmonella in a container of Garden of Life RAW Meal that was in one of the victim’s homes. Oregon health investigators did the same on February 1st.
Ron Simon, a national Salmonella lawyer, noted that this outbreak is likely far from over. “The problem,” says Simon “is that these products are already in homes and have a long shelf-life. If people are not vigilant, the number of victims could continue to rise for many months.” If you have any questions about the RAW Meal Organic Shake & Meal Replacement Salmonella Outbreak, call the lawyers at Ron Simon & Associates at 1-888-335-4901.