Quaker recall spurs Canada-wide class-action lawsuit

Click to play video: 'Quaker Oats recall spurs Canada-wide class-action lawsuit'
Quaker Oats recall spurs Canada-wide class-action lawsuit
WATCH: A B.C.-based law firm has launched a class action lawsuit against The Quaker Oats Company, after it recently issued two Canada-wide recalls for nearly 40 products due to potential salmonella contamination. Nathaniel Dove reports – Jan 19, 2024

A Vancouver-based law firm has filed a proposed Canada-wide class-action lawsuit against The Quaker Oats Company and PepsiCo Canada after its Quaker products were recalled in Canada due to potential salmonella contamination.

Slater Vecchio LLP launched the lawsuit “on behalf of all persons in Canada” who purchased any of the 38 Quaker products that were recalled, or who believe they got sick after eating the products.

The Canadian Food Inspection Agency issued the initial recall on Jan. 11, 2024, for 38 Quaker products, including granola and cereal, and then later recalled more than 30 yogurt and parfait products that contained Quaker granola.

“Canadians trust manufacturers to produce packaged foods that can safely be consumed without the risk of illness from contamination,” Sam Jaworski, a partner at Slater Vecchio LLP, said in a statement.

“Through a class-action, Canadians can access justice to hold suppliers accountable through strength in numbers, even if it would not be economical to pursue a lawsuit at the individual level.”

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Click to play video: 'Health Matters: 3rd cantaloupe lawsuit filed in Canada'
Health Matters: 3rd cantaloupe lawsuit filed in Canada

Slater Vecchio LLP is seeking to identify those who believe they got sick from the recalled products, and says it can be contacted here.

The lawsuit alleges that Quaker “failed to implement quality-control measures to detect and prevent contamination of the (recalled products) with salmonella.”

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The plaintiff, B.C. resident Jessica Simpson, began experiencing symptoms consistent with salmonella poisoning a few hours after consuming a Dipps Granola Bar that her mother purchased and had those symptoms for about two days, according to the lawsuit.

The Canadian Food Inspection Agency’s recall included different flavours of Harvest Crunch cereals, chewy and yogurt granola bars,  Cap’n Crunch treat bars. The recall did not include Quaker oats.

The best before dates for the recalled breakfast items are between Jan. 11 and Oct. 7, 2024.

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Canadians are urged not to consume these products and to throw them out or return them to where they were bought.

As of Jan. 19, there have been no illnesses reported in Canada, according to the federal government.

The CFIA said it was conducting a food safety investigation, which may lead to other products being recalled.

Last month, Quaker Oats issued a recall of granola bars and granola cereals across 50 U.S. states because of a potential salmonella contamination, according to the U.S. Food and Drug Administration.

Quaker Canada said in a statement on Jan. 11 that the recall was a direct result of the U.S. recall, which was also expanded by the Quaker Oats Company.

“This action is being taken in Canada out of an abundance of caution and commitment to the wellbeing of our Canadian consumers,” Quaker Canada said.

Customers can get reimbursement for the recalled products by going to this website.

Click to play video: '7th Canadian dies from cantaloupe salmonella outbreak: PHAC'
7th Canadian dies from cantaloupe salmonella outbreak: PHAC

Salmonella is a bacterial infection commonly transmitted through contaminated food and water and poses a significant health threat, especially to children and older adults, as it can lead to severe gastrointestinal symptoms, dehydration, and, in extreme cases, death.

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“Salmonella is one of the most prolific pathogens we know,” Keith Warriner, a food safety professor from the University of Guelph, previously told Global News. “The reason why it’s so successful is that it can survive any environment. It can be passed from person to person and passed into foods.”

The Quaker recall came after at least seven Canadians died from a salmonella outbreak linked to cantaloupe late in 2023. More than 100 Canadians were also infected.

The same law firm behind the Quaker class-action lawsuit also recently filed two class-action lawsuits against the Mexican company Malichita, which grew the cantaloupes, and two U.S. food companies.

Symptoms of salmonella infection typically start between six and 72 hours after exposure and can last anywhere from four to seven days, according to the Public Health Agency of Canada (PHAC).

They may include fever, chills, nausea, vomiting, diarrhea, headache, or abdominal cramps.

If you suspect you have salmonella, PHAC recommends seeing a health-care provider.

Most people recover on their own without any medical treatment, the agency said.

However, because salmonella can lead to severe dehydration, an emergency room visit may be necessary. There is also the risk of severe illness if the infection has gone beyond the intestines, and antibiotics may be needed.

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— with files from Global News’ Katie Dangerfield and Saba Aziz.

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