SoyNut Butter expanded its voluntary recall of products as federal officials continue to investigate its I.M. Healthy-branded soy nut butter as the likely source of an E. coli outbreak that has infected 12 people so far in five states, including Oregon.
CHICAGO — Two California parents are suing SoyNut Butter Co. for liability and negligence, among other charges, after their 8-year-old son was allegedly infected and hospitalized with E. coli after eating I.M. Healthy SoyNut Butter.
Mosby and Erin Simmons, of Santa Clara County, Calif., filed the lawsuit Monday morning in U.S. District Court in Chicago. Just two days earlier, SoyNut Butter, headquartered in suburban Chicago, expanded its voluntary recall of products as federal officials continue to investigate the company’s I.M. Healthy-branded soy nut butter as the likely source of an E. coli outbreak that has infected 12 people so far — 11 of them children — in five states.
Infections have been reported in Arizona, California, Maryland, New Jersey and Oregon. Four of the people infected have developed hemolytic uremic syndrome, a type of kidney failure, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.
The Simmons’ son, identified in the lawsuit as T.S., was admitted to Good Samaritan Hospital in San Jose, Calif., on Jan. 30, but his condition continued to deteriorate, and he was transferred to Lucile Packard Stanford Children’s Hospital, according to the lawsuit. There, he was diagnosed with E. coli infection and “treated with dialysis and blood transfusions for life-threatening hemolytic uremic syndrome” before being discharged on Feb. 23, the suit said.
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A spokesman for SoyNut Butter couldn’t be immediately reached Monday for comment. The product, marketed toward children with peanut allergies, is commonly served in schools and day-care facilities. The SoyNut Butter website claims to serve “over 2 million children a month.”
“My hope is this recall will cause more people to look into their pantries,” Bill Marler, the Simmonses’ attorney, said Monday.
SoyNut Butter expanded its voluntary recall Saturday of I.M. Healthy Original Creamy SoyNut Butter products to include 15-ounce plastic jars with the “best by” dates of July 5, 2018, Aug. 30, 2018, and Aug. 31, 2018; individual portion cups with the “best by” date Aug. 8, 2018; and 4-pound plastic tubs with “best by” dates of Nov. 16, 2018, and July 25, 2018.
Meanwhile, the CDC website advises consumers to not eat any I.M. Healthy-branded SoyNut Butter products or granola that has been coated with the soy nut butter.
E. coli symptoms include abdominal cramps, nausea, vomiting and fever.