Veggie Booty Snack Mix Lawsuit Filled by Parents of Salmonella Stricken BoyJul 5, 2007 | Parker Waichman LLP
The first Veggie Booty Lawsuit was filed today against Robert’s American Gourmet Food, the manufacturer of Veggie Booty snack mix, on behalf of an 18-month-old Indiana boy who became ill with a rare strain of Salmonella bacterium after he had eaten the vegetarian treat. Veggie Booty was the subject of a Food & Drug Administration (FDA) recall on June 28 after it was linked to more than 50 cases of Salmonella in 17 states. The corn-and-rice treat is marketed to children, and as a result nearly all of the victims have been under 10 years old.
The parents of little Xavier Allen allege that he had eaten some of the Veggie Booty on May 20 and became ill three days later. His symptoms included bloody diarrhea, a tell-tale sign of Salmonella poisoning. Xavier was treated in a local emergency room on May 26, and a stool sample tested positive for Salmonella Wadsworth. This is a rare strain of the bacteria that has not previously been linked to outbreaks in the United States. While it is no more dangerous than other strains of Salmonella, its rarity makes it nearly certain that Xavier’ illness originated with the Veggie Booty snacks Since his hospital visit, Xavier has continued to suffer from symptoms of Salmonella poisoning and is still under a doctor’s care.
Salmonella is an extremely dangerous type of food poisoning, symptoms of which included fever, abdominal pain, nausea, gas and bloody diarrhea. In very severe cases, it can lead to kidney failure and other complications like Reiter’s Syndrome, a difficult- to- treat condition that can lead to chronic arthritis. Salmonella can be particularly dangerous for children, the elderly and people with weakened immune systems.
The Veggie Booty contamination is only the latest in a string of food poisoning incidents traced back to contaminated products. Last month the United Food Group recalled 5 million pounds of beef for E. Coli contamination, while Tyson Fresh Meat, Inc. was forced to recall 40,000 pounds of its products for the same thing. And in February, ConAgra Foods recalled thousands of jars of Peter Pan and Great Value brand peanut butter for Salmonella contamination.
Of the 57 cases of Veggie Booty-linked Salmonella reported so far, four have resulted in hospitalizations. Incidences of the illness have been reported in New York, California, Colorado, Massachusetts, Pennsylvania, Vermont, Minnesota, New Hampshire, New Jersey, Wisconsin, Connecticut, Georgia, Indiana, Oregon, Tennessee, and Texas. Robert's American Gourmet Food, the Long Island, New York company that makes Veggie Booty, said on its website that it has recalled all lots and sizes of the product. Veggie Bootie is sold in a plastic foil bag and comes in 1-ounce and 4-ounce sizes. The company advised consumers to destroy the product but keep the packaging for a refund.