Frozen falafel sold exclusively at ALDI stores has been linked to an E. coli outbreak that has sickened at least 20 people in six states. Five people who ate the Earth Grown brand falafel have been hospitalized including one who developed hemolytic uremic syndrome (HUS), a form of kidney failure that is a complication of some E. coli infections.
Since 2006, this is the sixth multistate E. coli O121 outbreak that the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) has announced. All six of the outbreaks have taken place since 2013.
- Frozen falafel – 2022
- Cake mix -2021
- Ground bison -2019
- Flour -2016
- Raw clover sprouts -2014
- Frozen food products- 2013
Here are some of the things these outbreaks have in common.
Flour or Products Containing Flour
Three of the E. coli O121 outbreaks were linked to flour or products containing flour – the cake mix outbreak in 2019, the flour outbreak in 2016, and the frozen foods outbreak in 2013. The Farm Rich products linked to the 2013 outbreak included frozen quesadillas, mozzarella bites, pizza slices, and sliders. The frozen falafel linked to the current outbreak contains corn starch, but no flour.
Three of the outbreaks were linked to frozen foods, – the ongoing falafel outbreak, the 2019 outbreak linked to frozen bison burgers, and the Farm Rich outbreak of 2013.
HUS Kidney Failure
Four of the outbreaks, (not the bison or clover sprouts outbreaks), included patients who developed HUS, a potentially fatal complication that affects between 5 percent and 10 percent of E. coli patients. Most often, HUS affects young people especially children under 5.
Symptoms of an E. coli infection, which include abdominal cramps and diarrhea that can be bloody, usually develop within three days of exposure. Over-the-counter anti-diarrheal medications and antibiotics should not be given to patients with E. coli infections as they can increase the chance of developing HUS.
E. coli symptoms, which include abdominal cramps and diarrhea, usually develop one to three days after eating contaminated food. HUS symptoms usually develop about one week after initial E. coli symptoms. They include:
- Pale skin
- Unexplained bruising
- Extreme fatigue
- Swelling in legs, feet, or ankles
- Shortness of breath
- Decreased urination
- Bloody diarrhea
- Bleeding from the nose or mouth,
Anyone who develops symptoms of HUS should seek immediate medical care.
Experienced E. coli Lawyers
Pritzker Hageman E. coli lawyers have represented clients in every major E. coli outbreak in the U.S. If you would like a free consultation with an experienced E. coli lawyer, please contact the Pritzker Hageman E. coli Legal Team. You can reach us by calling 1-888-377-8900, sending a text to 612-261-0856, or by completing the form below. There is no obligation and you don’t pay us unless we win.