August 5, 2013 — Darden Restaurants, the company that owns Olive Garden, is facing a cyclospora food poisoning lawsuit from a woman who allegedly fell ill four days after eating a salad at an Olive Garden in Addison, Texas. The woman, Suzanne Matteis, filed the lawsuit after she was diagnosed with cyclosporiasis, a severe gastrointestinal illness caused by the cyclospora parasite.
Health department officials in Nebraska and Iowa traced 80% of the illnesses in their state to bagged salads produced by Taylor Farms de Mexico, a company that supplies pre-packaged salad mixes to restaurants, supermarkets, and food-service companies — including Olive Garden and Red Lobster. Taylor Farms is based in Salinas, California, but they operate at least 12 processing facilities. The illnesses have been traced to a plant about 180 miles north of Mexico City in San Miguel de Allende.
However, a spokesman for Taylor Farms denied a link, saying: “We do not use the supplier, Taylor Farms, in our restaurants in the state of Texas.”
The Centers for Disease Control (CDC) cautions:
“It is not yet clear whether the cases reported from other states are all part of the same outbreak. The investigation of increased cases of cyclosporiasis in other states continues.”
Fortunately, reports of new cases peaked in mid-June and have tapered off. This likely indicates that whatever was causing the outbreak has been consumed, discarded, or is past its expiration date and is no longer on store shelves.
Cyclosporiasis is a severe type of food poisoning caused by a parasite called Cyclospora cayetanensis. If untreated, the parasite can cause watery, explosive diarrhea and fatigue for an average of 57 days. The parasite is prevalent in tropical and subtropical climates. Since the 1990s, several outbreaks of cyclospora infection have been traced to imported fresh produce.
Do I have a Texas Cyclospora Lawsuit?
The Texas trial lawyers with The Schmidt Firm, PLLC are currently accepting Cyclospora and/or Cyclosporiasis lawsuits throughout the entire state of Texas. If you or somebody you know was sickened after eating at Olive Garden or Red Lobster, you should contact our lawyers immediately for a free case consultation. Please use the form below to contact our Food Poisoning Litigation Group or call us toll-free 24 hours a day at (866) 920-0753.
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