Number of victims from U.S. tuna sushi outbreak under federal investigation likely to be more than 2,700 instead of reported 93 based on multiplier of 30.3 unreported, unconfirmed illnesses for every stool-confirmed infection counted, legal official says

MINNEAPOLIS , April 6, 2012 (press release) – Food safety lawyer and Salmonella expert Fred Pritzker said the fast-growing tuna sushi Salmonella outbreak now under federal investigation has undoubtedly sickened thousands of consumers -- not just the 93 people whose illnesses have been confirmed in lab tests. Pritzker said the actual number of outbreak victims is likely to be more than 2,700 based on a multiplier of 30.3 unreported or unconfirmed illnesses for every stool-confirmed infection counted by CDC. The multiplier is accepted by CDC for any given Salmonella outbreak.

"There are many reasons for consumers to sit up and take notice of this outbreak," said Pritzker, one of the few U.S. trial attorneys who practices extensively in the area of food-borne illness litigation.

He is urging all consumers who suspect they may be part of the outbreak to seek medical attention and get tested. "Not only can Salmonella infections lead to serious health consequences," Pritzker said, "but your case could help investigators solve the outbreak."

The CDC and its partners have not conclusively identified the food source of the 19-state outbreak of Salmonella Bareilly, but they are looking closely at spicy tuna sushi rolls and other types of sushi, sashimi or cerviche as possible causes. The probe has reportedly looked at illness clusters around restaurants in Wisconsin, Maryland, Texas, Connecticut and Rhode Island.

"Salmonella outbreaks are not to be taken lightly," said Pritzker, who has represented numerous families in Salmonella death lawsuits.

Pritzker is president and founder of PritzkerOlsen, P.A., a firm that is actively involved in multiple efforts to ensure a safe U.S. food supply. In the past two months alone, he debated food safety at Harvard Law School and was the keynote speaker at the North American Food Safety Summit in Toronto. His firm is currently litigating some of the largest and most complex food safety cases in the country.

Salmonella outbreak victims and their families can contact food poisoning attorney Fred Pritzker by calling 1-888-377-8900 (toll free). The firm has offices at Plaza Seven, Suite 2950, 45 South Seventh Street, Minneapolis.

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