Trader Joe’s named in E. coli lawsuits traced to prepared salads

Food safety lawyer Bill Marler and I don’t always agree, but he’s right to go after retailers that source the cheapest product rather than the safest.

I’ve worked with enough retailers over the years to know they often don’t walk the talk.

lettuce-skullOf course food safety is the top priority – when there’s an outbreak.

Rest of the time, food safety can get lost behind quarterly earnings.

Lynne Terry of The Oregonian reports six people are suing Trader Joe’s over an E. coli outbreak that sent them to emergency rooms and caused one to suffer kidney failure.

The lawsuits seek unspecified damages in an outbreak last year traced to prepared salads by Glass Onion Catering in the San Francisco Bay area. That company is also named in the complaints, which are unusual because they list the retailer as a plaintiff.

“Retailers have been getting a free pass,” said Bill Marler. “They need to be held responsible. They’re the ones that have the most power over manufacturers to make sure they are doing the right thing.”

He’s right.