March 3, 2015

Lawsuit filed over salmonella outbreak in Texas

A salmonella outbreak could mean a lawsuit for a Texas restaurant.

A salmonella outbreak could mean a lawsuit for a Texas restaurant.

Students of Texas culinary schools undoubtedly have the importance of proper sanitation preached to them over and over in their coursework. While this may seem tedious, it’s a highly important part of working in any professional eatery or restaurant, and can be the difference between a strong business and one under fire. An example of the latter, unfortunately, seems to have emerged recently in the Lone Star State, as the Food Poison Journal has reported that nearly 60 cases of salmonella have been attributed to one local steakhouse. While the issue is not yet formally resolved, there has been a lawsuit filed and victims of the outbreak may end up receiving compensation.

The outbreak
According to multiple sources, the original cause of the outbreak is believed to be a restaurant located in Dalhart. The Texas X10 Restaurant, a popular family steakhouse, is currently associated with 52 of the 59 total salmonella cases that occurred in the Dalhart community over the month of February, according to Food Poison Journal. After having dined at the restaurant, many individuals fell ill and had to seek medical attention for symptoms including nausea, vomiting, diarrhea, fever and more, all textbook manifestations of salmonella.

The investigation
After so many individuals began to check into nearby hospitals with symptoms of salmonella, the Texas Department of State Health Services began to take notice. An investigation was launched, which though still underway, revealed that nearly all affected parties had recently eaten at the steakhouse. As the outbreak was brought to the attention of the Texas X10 Restaurant’s management, the establishment voluntarily shut itself down for sanitation during the second week of February. After being thoroughly cleaned, the restaurant was cleared to reopen for business. Interestingly enough, Food Poisoning Bulletin has indicated that all samples taken by food safety professionals from the restaurant have tested negative for salmonella. This may mean that the source of the outbreak was not environmental or in X10’s kitchen, but rather could have come from tainted food being shipped by a supplier to the restaurant. Either way, legal action is being brought against the establishment.

The lawsuit
While it remains to be seen whether or not others will join on and form a class action lawsuit, one individual has been confirmed as bringing legal moves against the restaurant. According to My High Plains, attorneys Bill Marler and John C. Ramsey are representing Frances Childers, who claims that X10’s food brought on a great deal of suffering. In addition to the symptoms experienced by many of the sickened individuals, Childers apparently experienced kidney failure as a result of her salmonella. Allegedly, her kidneys began to fail after the illness kept her from being able to hydrate for a period exceeding three days. Though it remains to be seen if this matter will go to trial or be settled out of court, it could be a considerable problem for the Dalhart restaurant.