Pepperidge Farm Sued Over Contaminated Crackers

JACKSON, Miss. (CN) – A Mississippi woman claims in a federal lawsuit Wednesday that she was sickened with salmonella poisoning from eating contaminated Goldfish crackers subject to last month’s nationwide recall.

Columbus resident Bailey Finch sued Pepperidge Farm and an ingredient supplier, Associated Milk Producers, in federal court in Mississippi. Finch’s lawsuit appears to be the first directly related to the company’s voluntary recall of four varieties of their fish-shaped cheese crackers.

Finch says in her lawsuit that she became “extremely ill with nausea, vomiting, and diarrhea” on July 19, the same night she consumed a bag of Goldfish crackers purchased the day before from a local grocery store.

“On July 24, 2018, plaintiff was hospitalized due to salmonella poisoning,” Finch’s lawsuit says. “She was tested for salmonella bacteria and positive test results for the salmonella bacteria were confirmed on July 26, 2018.”

Pepperidge Farm said no illness had been reported when they announced the Goldfish recall on July 23. The salmonella contamination is believed to have originated from the dry whey powder used to season the Goldfish crackers supplied by Associated Milk Producers, according to Finch’s lawsuit and the U.S. Food and Drug Administration.

A Pepperidge Farm spokesperson did not immediately return an emailed request for comment after business hours Wednesday. The Connecticut-based company is a subsidiary of the Campbell Soup Company.

The FDA is still investigating potential illnesses related to the recalled products.

Finch says she could have avoided the risks of developing salmonella poisoning had Pepperidge Farm and its ingredient supplier provided adequate warnings that the Goldfish crackers were unreasonably dangerous.

Finch seeks compensatory and punitive damages on claims of strict liability and negligence. She is represented by Patrick Wooten.

Salmonella illnesses usually last 4 to 7 days and symptoms include diarrhea, fever and cramps, which take up to 72 hours to develop. The bacteria live in the intestinal tracts of human and other warm-blooded animals after transmission from contaminated foods.

Children, the elderly, pregnant women and those with weakened immune systems are at the highest risk.

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