September 15, 2006
E-coli in bags of fresh spinach has caused illnesses in consumers nationwide, including in Connecticut.
Atty. Kathleen Nastri was interviewed by radio stations throughout Connecticut in response to federal warnings that residents should not eat fresh spinach.
The news media was interested in Atty. Nastri’s experience handling a lawsuit in a similar e-coli contamination as well as her insights into the legal implications of the new warning from the federal Food and Drug Administration.
E-coli in bags of fresh spinach has caused illnesses in consumers nationwide, including in Connecticut. The FDA warned that fresh, bagged spinach should not be consumed until further notice because of the e-coli contamination. E-Coli cannot be washed off the spinach; it is colorless and odorless.
Atty. Nastri recently settled a lawsuit out-of-court in which the victim became infected with e-coli bacteria after eating contaminated lettuce. She said that details of that case remain confidential. However, it is clearly critical for consumers to promptly seek medical attention if they suspect any illness is related to consumption of a specific food.
“Consumers generally don’t think of e-coli contamination in foods other than meat,” Atty. Nastri said. “This bacteria can be found in all types of foods that have not be properly prepared or packaged.”
An individual who suspects an illness came from bad food should first seek appropriate medical attention. The doctor will obtain a stool sample. If it tests positive for e-coli contamination the doctor must notify state and federal authorities who will be able determine if the illness is related to the outbreak.
Atty. Nastri suggests that those who get sick should save unused portions of the produce -- and sales slips showing the purchase -- for evidence in potential legal proceedings. Uneaten produce and packaging should be preserved in sealed containers for future laboratory analysis. In addition, consumers should immediately diary dates and places of food purchase.
Individuals with questions may reach Atty. Nastri at (800) 366-4421.