Peanut butter tainted with salmonella has claimed the life of a 72-year-old resident at a Minnesota Nursing Home. Consequently, the family of Shirley Mae Almer, have filed a food poisoning lawsuit against the manufacturer and distributer of the peanut butter in Hennepin District County in Minneapolis for her death.
The lawsuit names Peanut Corporation of America and King Nut Companies as the defendants in the matter. Peanut Corporation manufactured the contaminated peanut butter over the past six months and King Nut distributed the peanut butter to institutions–including Almer’s nursing home.
The lawsuit alleges that Almer died on December 21, 2008, during a temporary stay in a Brainard, Minnesota Nursing Home. The peanut butter lawsuit alleges that her death was caused by eating peanut butter contaminated with Salmonella typhimurium, the same strain of bacteria that has been connected to other illnesses and deaths after ingesting the peanut butter.
According to the complaint, the defendants failed to manufacture, package and transport their products safely, failed to supervise and train their employees effectively, did not maintain hygienic conditions for production of peanut butter, failed to test their final products before distributing them and did not take steps to prevent cross-contamination at the plant.
The Minnesota Department of Health found salmonella bacteria in an open 5 pound tub of peanut butter served at the Minnesota nursing home where Almer was residing, and other sealed containers of peanut butter manufactured by Peanut Corporation of America have been found to be contaminated with the same strain of bacteria, tracing the contamination back to the processing plant where the containers are sealed.
According to reports released on January 27, 2009, subsequent inspections by federal health officials have found evidence of Salmonella typhimurium at the plant, together with two other strains found on the floor of the facility and another strain in a different container of peanut butter produced by Peanut Corporation of America.
King Nut Companies distributed large tubs of peanut butter manufactured by Peanut Corp. to nursing homes, schools and other food service institutions in several states.
Peanut Corp. also sold peanut paste to nearly 100 different manufacturers of peanut butter crackers, cookies, ice cream, nutrition bars and other products containing peanut butter. To date, almost 400 products have been recalled that are believed to contain the contaminated peanut butter.
If you or a loved one have contracted salmonella after eating peanut butter served in a nursing home or institution, you may be entitled to a claim for damages against the peanut butter manufacturer and distributer of the products. Also, depending on when the peanut butter was served, you may also have a claim against the nursing home or institution where the peanut butter was served.
You can read more abut the FDA’s recall of contaminated peanut butter in nursing homes and other institutions here.