In recent years, salmonella in peanut and almond butter has captured many headlines. In 2008 and 2009, an outbreak of the bacteria swept across the U.S., sickening 714 people and killing nine, including several children. By the time the outbreak was contained it had spread to 46 states, and Centers for Disease Control (CDC) officials believe the actual number of affected people was in the thousands. The quick spread and severity of the outbreak forced officials to enact the largest food recall in history. What’s truly frightening about the 2008 and 2009 scare, though, is that the outbreak was traced back to just three processing facilities. In short, it only takes a single company not following safety protocols to sicken an entire country.
It appears that the U.S. may be on the verge of another outbreak of salmonella in peanut and almond butter. According to the CDC, four people have been diagnosed with the bacteria as of August 20, 2014. What is especially alarming is that the four people in each case live in a different state, suggesting that contaminated food has already spread throughout the country. Of these four cases, one was reported in Connecticut, one in Iowa, one in Tennessee and one in Texas. Only one of the four has required hospitalization, but officials believe that many more cases will likely emerge soon.
CDC officials have begun their investigation in earnest, teaming up with federal, state and local authorities to locate the source of the bacteria. Officials believe that the contaminated products are being sold under the Arrowhead Mills, MaraNatha, Trader Joe’s, Whole Foods, Safeway and Kroger brands. The supplier is nSpired Natural Foods, Inc., which is a major concern to investigators. According to the CDC, an nSpired processing facility tested positive for the bacteria during an investigation in July. Though the company is now cooperating with investigators, this likely means that the company was aware of a high risk of salmonella contamination in its peanut and almond butter products.
Following the 2008 and 2009 outbreak, hundreds of injury claims were filed against the responsible company, Peanut Corporation of America. This situation will likely repeat itself if investigators confirm that nSpired is the source of the 2014 outbreak.
A hit-and-run driver of a Dodge Challenger took the life of a motorcyclist on Sunday morning in east Houston. The Dodge Challenger was travelling westbound on I-10 at a fast rate of speed when it started to recklessly changing lanes. The driver finally made it the far right lane where it struck the motorcyclist. Local authorities are currently investigating the incident.
An alleged drunk driver struck the wrong person Sunday on the North Freeway. Not only was he hit a Metro Police officer, but he also attempted to flee the scene. After a quick chase, the alleged intoxicated driver was apprehended and arrested. He is now facing an aggravating assault charge. According to local authorities, the injured police officer was transported to a local hospital.
The Houston Fire Department had several impressive rescues of workers today. The first occurred in southwest Houston where a worker was accidently cut in the chest with a saw while up on a roof. The worker was transported to a local hospital for treatment of his laceration. The second rescue came this afternoon when a worker was suffering from heat exhaustion at the George R. Brown Conventions Center. The worker happened to be about 20 feet underground at the 1700 block of Walker when the heat overcame him. The worker was lifted with a basket.
An alleged drunk driver struck a Community Ambulance, a local private ambulance, Friday evening in West Houston. The local private ambulance was traveling northbound on West Houston Center Boulevard when the drunk driver failed to yield the right of way striking the ambulance, which was carrying a patient. Another private ambulance came out to transport the patient to their original destination. The police arrested the alleged drunk driver at the scene.
A head-on collision between a big rig and a vehicle leaves one man dead Friday, August 22, 2014, in Van Zandt County. According to local authorities, Stephen Armstrong, a 22-year-old of Grand Saline, lost control of his 2002 Nissan entering the opposing lane of traffic on a curve resulting in a catastrophic impact. Local authorities are still investigating the incident since Armstrong passed away at the scene.
An explosion last night claims the life of an employee at Madden Bolt Galvanizing Corporation located on the 13400 block of Hempstead Highway in northwest Houston. According to the Houston Police Department, the explosion caused shrapnel and metal to fall on the employee resulting in fatal injuries. Besides the current local investigations, state and or federal investigation is bound to begin soon since this is the second employee death to occur at Madden Bolt Galvanizing in recent history.
A couple died this morning in a severe car collision on Market Street and Fidelity Street in Jacinto City, TX. According to local authorities, the Mark Sonier and Erica Maxey were travelling in a Chevrolet Malibu vehicle on Market Street when they lost control after not realizing the road ends. Their vehicle went flying over railroad tracks into a metal fence, through a field, then striking a second metal fence and a parked vehicle. The Chevrolet Malibu flipped after the impacts.
A man in a concrete mixer truck died this morning after it left the road and flipped. The incident occurred on Crabb River Road near Highway 59 in Fort Bend County. The second person in the concrete mixer truck was transported to a nearby hospital. Local authorities are investigating the cause to the incident.
For the second time in the span of several days, the U.S. Food and Drug Administration uncovered salmonella-tainted produce during routine testing. This time the culprit is: peanut butter and almond butter. These items were sold under the organic food brands Arrowhead Mills and MaraNatha at the following grocery stores: Trader Joe’s Whole Foods, Kroger and Safeway. The contaminated items were distributed across the United States as well as overseas to the Dominican Republic, Hong, Kong, Canada, and the United Arab Emirates. Salmonella is known to cause fatal infections to the young and old and those with weak immune systems, as well as fevers, nausea, vomiting, diarrhea and abdominal pain.
A fire erupted earlier today that ripped open a home near the Royal Country Club claiming the life of one. The home is located in the 11200 block of English Rose Lane near Wilcrest Drive in West Houston. According to the Houston Police Department, three adults were home when the fire engulfed the structure, and two were successfully rescued, yet a third person died at the scene from her injuries. They are investigating the cause of the fire to determine if the origin of the deadly incident.
Two big rig trucks were involved in a serious collision on the southbound lanes of the 610 West Loop in Bellaire near Evergreen earlier today. One of the overturned big rigs was transporting concrete debris that resulted in it being sprayed all over the southbound lanes of traffic. The debris forced traffic to be re-routed to the feeder so that cleaning crews could restore order. The lanes were reopened after several hours.
A fiery car crash closed three main lanes of the North Sam Houston Tollway westbound near Gessner this morning involving five vehicles. The impact caused at least two of the vehicle to catch on fire resulting in a large black smoke trail. The clean-up crew took several hours to make the lanes operational.
Seven families are reported homeless after a fire swept through the Mar Del Sol Apartments located on Woodfair near the Sam Houston Tollway and Bissonnet in southwest Houston. The Houston Fire Department responded immediately to combat the fire and assist the dozens of victims. Arson investigators believe this might be the work of a Molotov cocktail and arrested a twenty-two-year-old male.
A man lost his life this past Saturday afternoon while being chased by the Houston Police Department after allegedly fleeing the scene of a robbery in a stolen vehicle. The driver lost control of the vehicle and crashed into a tree in the 6400 block of Calhoun Road in southeast Houston. Two passengers in the same vehicle were transported to a local hospital to treat their injuries.
A house fire started over the weekend with a unique story. On Saturday afternoon, a pest control worker treating a house located in the 3600 block of Oak Lane Drive near Garden Spring Gardens for terminates happen to drill in the wrong spot setting off an explosive chain reaction. The drilling caused ammunition and other explosives to ignite resulting in a dangerous fire. The local fire department responded and not only dealt with the fire, but the exploding ammunition simultaneously. The worker was transported to a local hospital to treat his injuries.
A shrimping vessel named “Mr. Anthony” capsized earlier today off Cedar Bayou near the Houston Ship channel resulting in all four crewmembers to go missing momentarily. The Baytown Fire Deparment and the U.S. Coast Guard responded immediately by deploying several assets including a helicopter and rescue vessels into the area. Two of the four crewmembers, which included a teenage boy, were rescued early in the search, yet divers had to be deployed to locate and rescue the third crewmwmber, who became trapped in an air pocket within the ship as it lay capsized. The U.S. Coast Guard is currently continueing the search for the fourth crewmwmber which is still missing along with the Chambers County Sheriff’s Office, Port of Houston Fire Department, and Harris County Dive Team. A full investigation into the cause of the incident is also in progress, and it is but a matter of time before National Transportation Safety Board joins the investigation.
An explosion ripped through a house in northwest Harris County Monday morning. The house is located in the 15100 block of Stonewick Drive near Gladeridge Drive in Houston. The homeowner came out to smoke early in the morning and apparently a propane tank in his garage was leaking causing a fiery blast which demolished the detached garage and damaged the main house. According to witnesses, the homeowner’s adrenaline did not allow him to realize the magnitude of his injuries running into the main house to wake his wife who was still asleep and attempting to save his vehicle prior to emergency personnel tending to his injuries. The homeowner was transported to a local hospital for further treatment.
With thousands injured every year in accidents resulting from tire defects, cases filed under the product liability laws are becoming quite common. The National Highway Transportation and Safety Administration works hard to place product recalls when necessary and maximize safety standards, yet oftentimes faulty products go unnoticed. In this case the traction of the vehicle is greatly impacted, which can lead to serious and even deadly car accidents and/or rollovers.
Whether there is not enough tread, the sidewall or tread has separated, or there is an unexpected release of air pressure, the driver would ultimately lose control of the vehicle threatening the safety of those in and around the vehicle. No matter what the issue may be, it can be due to manufacturing error, inadequate design, lack of safety warnings, or poor maintenance and repair by a service retailer. In addition, the age of the product is crucial as the rubber material has a limited life of up to 10 years when on a vehicle and 6 years if unused.
When an injury or fatality occurs due to tire defects, cases can be filed to prove the product was “unreasonably dangerous” and directly led to the physical result. In many cases action is taken against the manufacturer due to their strict duty for safety. A legal professional experienced in such lawsuits will determine the case’s validity as well as if it falls within any state-level time limitations. They will obtain adequate evidence, documentation on the accident, and expert guidance to prove negligence. It will need to be proven that the product had not been altered in any way prior to the incident.
Compensation is typically awarded in the form of compensatory damages to recover lost earnings, medical expenses, and pain and suffering, as well as punitive damages to ensure the imperfection is corrected and the negligent are held accountable.
A 60-year-old motorcyclist from Bayview lost his life in a motor vehicle collision Saturday evening in La Porte, Texas. The deadly incident occurred as the motorcyclist was traveling southbound on Highway 146 and an Acura sedan that was traveling behind it failed to control its speed striking the rear of the motorcycle. The cyclist was sent flying into the air and slammed to the ground. The motorcyclist died at the scene of the incident. The local authorities were forced to shut down Highway 146 in both directions for several hours while they conducted part of their investigation.
A serious collision occurred earlier today between a tow truck and a Mercedes-Benz which resulted in multiple injuries. The incident occurred at the intersection of the service road of Interstate 10 at Durham near the North Shepherd Drive in exit. The local authorities are currently investigating whether the tow truck failed to yield at a red light to the Mercedes-Benz as several witness reported. At least three people were transported to Ben Taub General Hospital to treat their injuries.
McCormick voluntarily recalls 1,032 cases of ground oregano due to fears of salmonella contamination. The cases are the 0.75 ounce bottle size bearing UPC 0-523561-1 and sale dates BEST BY AUG 21 16 H and AUG 22 16H. The bottles were distributed to 41 states, which does not include Texas and ten different countries. Despite no injuries being reported yet, the Federal Drug and Food Administration (FDA) notified McCormick of a potential contamination risk during routine testing. Salmonella is known to cause fatal infection to the young and old and those with weak immune systems and fevers, nausea, vomiting, diarrhea, and abdominal pain.
Three people were transported to the hospital after a ten-vehicle pile-up occurs over the span of two hours on the North Freeway earlier this morning. It all started with a vehicle losing control and crashing near the Cypresswood Drive exit resulting in the driver being transported to a local hospital. As this scene was clearing up, a Camaro reportedly became inoperable, and the driver attempted to push it off to the side shoulder. Without a reason, a maroon vehicle came and struck this stranded motorist injuring him. After the Spring Fire Department had responded for these new injuries, a drunk driver struck the rear of several Spring Fire Department vehicles. While this last collision was being tended to, two other collisions occurred. Seriously, flashing light means slow down and pay attention, not rubbernecking and ignoring your surroundings.
Several victims in a Fort Worth area plane crash are from Manvel, Texas. Lawrence Liptack, 51, and his son Landon Liptack, 10, were in a twin-engine Cessna plane approaching an airport when it went down near Bowie, Texas. The National Transportation Safety Board and the Federal Aviation Administration are actively investigating the crash. Lawrence and Landon are survived by Charlotte Liptack, the principal of Manvel High School in the Alvin Independent School District.
A hit-and-run has claimed the life of a Houston-area female overnight. The incident occurred last night after 9 p.m. on the 1500 block of Telephone Drive when a Houston Police Department officer happened to be in the area investigating an unrelated matter and heard a loud crash. A pick-up was seen fleeing the scene. The female passed away at the scene from her injuries.