Bolthouse Farms Carrot Juice Botulism Outbreak
In 2006, five people in the United States and Canada became violently sick and one victim died after drinking Bolthouse Farms Carrot Juice. An investigation revealed that the juice was contaminated with Clostridium botulinum bacteria, a dangerous organism that produces a nerve-paralyzing toxin. The victims experienced breathing difficulties and muscle paralysis, which led to extensive hospitalization and lengthy recovery. Several victims of the botulism outbreak sued Bolthouse Farms in Canada and the United States in order to obtain compensation for their medical expenses, lost wages, intense physical pain and emotional suffering.
Bolthouse Farms Carrot Juice Recall
Bolthouse Farms is one of the largest carrot product producers in the world. Based in Bakersfield, California, the company produces raw carrots, as well as bottled carrot juice. In 2006, the company learned that one of its products, unpasteurized carrot juice, had been linked to several botulism cases in Georgia, Florida and Canada. In September 2006, the FDA issued a warning not to drink Bolthouse Farms Carrot Juice with “best if used by” dates of November 2006 and earlier. In addition to the Bolthouse Farms brand, the FDA advised consumers not to drink carrot juice labeled Earthbound Farm Organic Carrot Juice and President’s Choice Organics 100% Pure Carrot Juice. Soon after, Bolthouse Farms suspended the production of unpasteurized carrot juice.
An FDA investigation revealed that the Bolthouse Farms Carrot Juice had become infested with botulism bacteria, most likely due to improper refrigeration. Unpasteurized carrot juice is especially susceptible to botulism contamination because it is low in acid, a substance that acts as a natural barrier to the botulism toxin. In order to prevent future botulism outbreaks caused by contaminated carrot juice, the FDA is considering ordering acidification of all carrot juice products produced in the United States.
Bolthouse Farms Botulism Lawsuits
All of the victims of the Bolthouse Farms Carrot Juice botulism outbreak developed respiratory failure and required lengthy ventilator treatments. One victim in the United States fell into a coma and died three months after ingesting the botulism toxin. A couple in Canada also experienced lengthy comas and nearly died after drinking Bolthouse Farms Carrot Juice. Two years after the outbreak, in December 2008, two victims were at home, two were at a rehabilitation facility and one victim remained at a hospital. At this time, two of the five survivors were still dependent on mechanical ventilators.
In order to obtain compensation for their medical expenses and severely diminished lifestyles, several victims filed botulism lawsuits against Bolthouse Farms. The lawsuits allege that the company acted negligently by failing to provide consumers with reasonably safe products, as a result of which they sustained serious personal injuries.
Contacting an Experienced Botulism Lawyer
While botulism is a rare disease, about 150 people in the United States become sickened with the potentially lethal botulism bacterium every year. If you or your loved one has become sick due to botulism and you suspect food poisoning, contact the experienced botulism lawyers of Aylstock, Witkin, Kreis & Overholtz at (888) 255-2956. They will carefully evaluate your case to determine if you were harmed as a result of negligence on the part of the food manufacturers and distributors involved, which may entitle you to compensation. The lawyers of AWKO have many years’ experience handling botulism cases, as well as food poisoning cases arising from E. coli, salmonella, campylobacter and shigella outbreaks.