The family of a Texas man has filed suit in the U.S. District Court in San Antonio, claiming that he died in June, 2010, as a result of ingesting celery contaminated by listeria.
The suit is brought against Sangar Fresh Cut Produce LLC, alleging death by infection caused by Sangar's failure to follow proper food safety regulations and guidelines. Last October, the Texas Health Department, found "an immediate and serious threat to human life or health" at the Sanger plant, ordered it to shut down and recall all products it had shipped since January, 2010.
This listeria outbreak killed at least five people. This type of food poisoning is especially worrisome for children and the elderly, as the infection can spread from the intestines to the blood stream and nervous system. Although it can be treated with antibiotics, the fatality rate for those infected is about 25%.
The lawsuit is based on an alleged breach of implied warranty, by providing food that was not fit to eat.