Our law firm, together with Andy Childers and Richard Schlueter of Atlanta’s Childers, Buck & Schlueter, currently represents over two dozen victims of a Salmonella food poisoning outbreak that occurred at Arby’s Restaurant on North Ashley Street in Valdosta, Georgia. The outbreak occurred over a period of close to 3 months, resulting in a total of 71 laboratory confirmed cases, including numerous hospitalizations.
Both Georgia state and local health authorities investigated the illnesses and determined that the pathogen, Salmonella serotype Montevideo, had caused the food poisoning outbreak. Salmonella serotype Montevideo was found on the restaurant’s meat slicer, and samples taken from meat at the restaurant indicated that Arby’s was indeed serving meat contaminated with Salmonella serotype Montevideo to its restaurant patrons.
Our investigation raises serious questions about the food handling practices and quality control used by Arby’s and Beavers, the company that owns the Ashley Street Arby’s and several other Arby’s restaurants in Georgia and Florida. Whether these are problems that occur at other Arby’s restaurants is a good question. Another Salmonella outbreak occurred more recently at an Arby’s in Moses Lake, Washington, clear across the country. We represent several victims of that outbreak as well. The possible pattern of failure, resulting in Salmonella infections that required hospitalization and caused extremely serious injuries and, in one case, the tragic death of an elderly woman, continues to be on our radar screen.
We will continue to report further on details of this case and the larger issues involving Arby’s restaurants and corporate hygienic policies, which may need changing to avoid further outbreaks of infectious disease.