Utah family among those suing after tainted cucumbers spread salmonella

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SANDY, Utah – A local family is joining a lawsuit against a company that distributed cucumbers that created an outbreak of salmonella.

Meghann Mills of Sandy watched her 5-year-old son Charlie’s condition get worse for nearly a month. She said he was weak, lost weight and started having blood in his urine.

Initial tests came back clear for infection, but, after almost a month, a diagnosis linked the salmonella strain he was suffering from to the tainted cucumbers.

“One of the worst experiences of my life,” Mills said. “Your kid is sick, you don’t know why. You just want answers, and you want to know if there’s anything you can do as a mom.”

The distributor, Andrew and Williamson Fresh Produce in San Diego, voluntarily recalled the cucumbers earlier in September. Dave Murray, a partner with Andrew and Williamson, responded to the news of the lawsuit.

"We are absolutely devastated at the thought of people becoming sickened by cucumbers we put in the market," he told FOX 13 News over the phone.

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention reports 418 people have been sickened across 31 states. In the first week of September, there were 30 confirmed patients linked to the outbreak in Utah. 

Murray said that since the recall, they have opened their fields and packing facilities in Mexico to the U.S. FDA as well as Mexican food inspectors and independent safety experts.

"We want everybody to know if we find a problem, we will take responsibility and we will fix it," Murray said.

The Mills family is joining at least seven others to file a lawsuit against the distributor.

5 comments

  • Reva

    Such a weird story to me. It took them a month do diagnose him and traced it back to a cucumber? Could it have possibly been undercooked chicken, a pet reptile, un-washed hands. There are so many possible contributors. I want to know how it was traced back to this one cucumber that only the 5 year old ate. I don’t doubt that it was hard for the parents and on the young boy. But, I find lawsuits for things that you can control – like properly preparing your produce – a little un necessary. The company did the right thing and recalled the produce. Scientific studies have proven “pathogens are unlikely to be transported through the interior of the plant i.e. e-coli study” so it has to be on the surface. When does personal responsibility come into play? Unfortunately, our farmers can not control the wildlife, birds, and other animals who wander through their fields and possibly contaminate their irrigation water. It’s just how it is. So wash your hands, veggies and fruits folks!

    • ken

      Exactly! People sure get sue happy. Yes it is a tragedy but how did the distributor actually cause it? It’s people like these that make so nobody but corporate America can afford to stay in business.

      • Jon Smith

        The strain was traced by the CDC through genetic mapping from the culture of the infection. Each outbreak of salmonella has it its own genetic DNA fingerprint. Like a crime scene investigation. It’s not some random assumption. Come on people geezz

    • Jon Smith

      Seriously?… do you not know about DNA testing and culture strain identification? It’s not just spin the wheel and pick something randomly. Genetic mapping takes time and everything goes through the CDC and then to the FDA for investigation. Plus, washing/rinsing fruits and vegetables is not a guarantee of removing biofilm colonies embedded on skins or exteriors of strong bacterium.

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