Whole Foods Food Poisoning Lawsuit Filed Over Tainted Cheese

A Pennsylvania man has filed a food poisoning lawsuit against Whole Foods Market and Forever Cheese, alleging he suffered illness caused by listeria after eating cheese he purchased at the national health food chain. 

The complaint was filed by John and Patricia McKissick on September 17, in U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of New York.

According to the lawsuit, Patricia McKissick purchased a variety of cheeses at a Pittsburg Whole Foods in late May. Shortly after, John McKissick fell ill and was diagnosed with listeriosis.

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At least 14 people in 11 states reportedly contracted a listeria infection earlier this year that has been linked to contaminated Frescolina ricotta cheese, distributed by Forever Cheese. As a result of the outbreak a Frescolina cheese recall was announced earlier this month by Whole Foods and Forever Cheese, and at least three people have reportedly died from listeria poisoning caused by the cheese.

McKissick alleges that Whole Foods cut up wheels of Frescolina ricotta salata cheese that was already contaminated, which cross-contaminated other cheese products sold at the store during the time of the outbreak.

According to the lawsuit against Whole Foods, McKissick sufered nervous system and cognitive dysfunction as a result of listeriosis, and had to be placed on a respirator due to respiratory failure. He is seeking compensatory damages.

Listeria infections pose a serious risk to young children and the elderly due to a weakened immune system. For pregnant women, listeriosis can pose a serious risk of miscarriages and still births.

Listeriosis has become more prevalent and concerning than some of the more common contaminations, such as Salmonella, simply because many people do not experience symptoms immediately and early symptoms may be mistaken for a cold. Listeria symptoms consist of fever, muscle aches, nausea, or diarrhea, and in more severe cases it may lead to meningitis, mental changes, brain abscesses, or death.


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