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WASHINGTON, D.C. - The maker of Veggie Booty Snack Food has launched a recall of the popular kids' snack after the U.S. Food and Drug Administration said that it might be linked to more than 50 reported cases of salmonella.
The Sea Cliff, N.Y.-based maker of Veggie Booty, Robert's American Gourmet, issued the recall after the FDA alerted the company about 52 reports of illness across 17 states, beginning in March. The illnesses potentially stem from contamination with Salmonella Wandsworth, a bacteria that cause gastrointestinal illness.
Company officials say none of its products have tested positive for salmonella, and that the recall is a precaution.
Veggie Booty Snack Food is sold in supermarkets, health food stores, online, and in vending machines across the U.S. as well as in Canada.
FDA said it learned of the possible outbreak on June 27 from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, which conducted an investigation with state and local health officials. It said the outbreak is considered likely to be ongoing.
Almost all the illnesses have occurred in children under 10 years old, with the most cases in toddlers, FDA said. States reporting illnesses included: California (seven cases), Colorado (five cases), Connecticut (one case), Georgia (one case), Indiana (one case), Massachusetts (three cases), Minnesota (two cases), New Hampshire (two cases), New Jersey (two cases), New York (13 cases), Oregon (one case), Pennsylvania (three cases), Tennessee (one), Texas (one), Vermont (three cases), Washington (four cases), and Wisconsin (two cases).
William Marler, a food safety advocate and attorney whose Seattle law firm, Marler Clark, has been contacted by five families affected by the Salmonella outbreak, called on the manufacturer to pay the medical bills of all individuals who became ill with infections as part of the outbreak.
"Health officials have indicated that the strain of Salmonella found in the Veggie Booty, Salmonella Wandsworth, causes a particularly severe illness in comparison to other strains of Salmonella," Marler said. "Most of the victims of this outbreak were children whose parents took them to a health care provider for medical treatment. It is only fair for the manufacturer to reimburse families for medical expenses incurred due to consumption of their product."
Marler's law firm has represented thousands of victims of Salmonella and other foodborne illnesses, and currently represents 93 victims of last fall's E. coli outbreak traced to contaminated spinach grown in California's Salinas Valley and over 4,000 victims of the Salmonella outbreak that was recently traced to Peter Pan and Great Value peanut butter.