The California Department of Public Health (CDPH) is warning consumers about the I. M. Healthy brand SoyNut Butter or granola that is coated with SoyNut Butter because they may be contaminated with Shiga toxin-producing E. coli. According to a news report, as of March 2, 2017, 12 people have been sickened by these products including four from California. Most of the patients have been children and several have been hospitalized with hemolytic uremic syndrome or HUS, a life-threatening complication that could cause kidney damage or kidney failure. All four California patients reported eating I.M. Healthy brand Creamy SoyNut Butter in the week prior to becoming ill.
Those who have these products at home are being urged to throw them out right away. Since the products have a shelf life of two years, officials are urging consumers to look into their pantries and discard any of these products that haven’t been consumed because they don’t know just yet which of the batches are affected.
E. Coli and HUS
Hemolytic uremic syndrome (HUS) is a condition that affects the blood and blood vessels. It results in the destruction of blood platelets (cells involved in clotting), a low red blood cell count (anemia) and kidney failure due to damage to the very small blood vessels of the kidneys. The most common cause of hemolytic uremic syndrome in children is an Escherichia coli (E. coli) infection of the digestive system. Symptoms of HUS could include bloody diarrhea, abdominal pain, pale skin, irritability, fatigue, fever, unexplained bruises or bleeding and decreased urination.
If You Have Been Sickened
If you or a loved one has become ill as a result of eating these SoyNut products, it is important that you preserve and isolate what is remaining of the product so it can be tested in a laboratory for the presence of pathogens. Get medical attention as soon as possible. If you suspect food poisoning, ask your doctor to run the necessary diagnostic tests. The sooner you get the right treatment, the quicker your recovery is likely to be. Report your illness to the local health agency, which tracks these types of illnesses and reports trends so the public can be more aware.
Contact an experienced California food poisoning lawyer who can help you obtain fair compensation for the injuries and losses you have sustained as a result of your illness. The compensation you may be able to seek includes support for medical expenses, lost wages, hospitalization, and pain and suffering.