Lawsuit filed in E. coli outbreak linked to soy nut butter


A lawsuit has now been filed in the E. coli outbreak that's been tied to a peanut butter substitute.

The outbreak has grown to nine states, including Washington and has sickened 16 patients.

One of those patients was 8-year-old Trevor Simmons, who ended up being admitted to a hospital.

His mother said he came home sick from school and she though it was a stomach flu. But, a couple days later they were in the emergency room - and didn't leave the hospital for nearly four weeks.

"My worst fear in the hospital was, 'did I do something? Could I have had it in my house?'" said Erin Simmons, Trevor's mother.

Trevor's kidneys failed and he needed dialysis. He was diagnosed with E. coli 0157.

Turns out the source was in the Simmons' house.

Back home in San Jose, California, the family still had I.M. Healthy brand soynut butter in their pantry - one of Trevor's favorite foods.

The company has now issued a voluntary recall of all its soynut butter and granolas and revealed that another company actually manufactures the products.

Seattle food safety advocate and attorney Bill Marler filed a lawsuit for the Simmons family.

"Now we get to find out the safety record of that plant. Ultimately, figuring out the entire chain of distribution, figuring out how an outbreak happened, helps prevent the next one," said Marler.

Erin Simmons said that's her goal - to make sure other families and daycares know about the recall - and stop serving a potentially dangerous food.

"How do we know what we buy on the shelf, 'is safe for our kids?' How do we have that confidence?" she said.

Marler said a King County child who is also connected to the outbreak is now out of the hospital.

Because soynut butter can be on the shelf for a long time, he expects there will be more infections as word of the recall spreads.

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