The Diamond Pet Foods recall debacle just got worse.
The first lawsuit against Diamond Pet Foods and Costco stores was filed on Monday for damages caused by Salmonella-tainted pet food.
According to the Food Poisoning Bulletin, the law firm of Pritzker Olsen filed suit “in the US District Court, District of New Jersey (case number 3:12-CV-03127-JAP-LHG) on behalf of an infant who was hospitalized with a Salmonella Infantis infection” allegedly related to Kirkland Signature Super Premium Healthy Weight Dog Food formulated with Chicken and Vegetables.
The food was part of a nationwide recall that has expanded since April 6 to include an ever-growing number of Diamond products.
According to the complaint, the child “began experiencing symptoms of food poisoning, including severe diarrhea, fever, loss of appetite, and pain, on or about April 11. He was admitted to St. Peters University Hospital in New Jersey, where he was treated for salmonellosis. The bacteria cultured from the patient proved to be the same rare genetic subtype found in other human and product samples associated with the outbreak and recall,” FPB reports.
The food that allegedly sickened the baby was manufactured in a South Carolina plant that was found to be in violation of several food-safety laws, including maintenance problems, damaged equipment whose dents and gouges could harbor microorganisms, and an absence of hand-sanitizing facilities in necessary locations.
An FDA inspection on April 12 led to an official statement that the company was not taking “all reasonable precautions to ensure that production procedures to not contribute contamination from any source.”
Fourteen people in the US and one in Canada have been sickened by the recalled pet food, according to FPB. As for how many dogs have been sickened, “pets are rarely tested for gastrointestinal bacteria, making it impossible to estimate the number ill from the outbreak. Regardless, the FDA does know of two clinically confirmed Salmonella infections in dogs from the same household where they were served a recalled brand,” explains Food Safety News. “The latest CDC update on the outbreak reports that illnesses that occurred after April 13, 2012 may not yet be reported, and investigators do expect more illnesses.”