Food Manufacturer Serenade Foods Sued After Link to Salmonella Outbreak

Plaintiff Debora Connelly filed suit on Thursday in the District of New Jersey against Serenade Foods, Inc. The suit comes after a Salmonella outbreak was linked to the defendant’s products, as they manufacture and sell popular frozen chicken products.

In 2021, the complaint explained, the Centers for Disease Control (CDC) and the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s Food Safety and Inspection Service (USDA-FSIS) conducted an inspection of various Salmonella Enteritidis infections across the country. Their findings revealed that the defendant’s raw frozen breaded stuffed chicken products produced at their facility in Milford, Indiana, were making individuals sick, court documents state.

It was later found that there were 36 reported cases of Salmonella from the outbreak strain, though the complaint notes that the true number is likely much higher. Using the PulseNet system, public health investigators were able to identify which illnesses were a part of the outbreak. From there they were able to determine that it is likely that all the individuals involved in the outbreak got sick from the same food.

Salmonella is an infection usually caused from consuming raw or undercooked eggs, milk, or meat. Common symptoms of Salmonella include “diarrhea, abdominal cramps, and fever.” Despite the short-term nature of these symptoms, a Salmonella infection can also carry long-term health implications.

After Connelly consumed the defendant’s products, she said she developed symptoms that were consistent with a Salmonella infection. She was hospitalized for three days as a result of her “nausea, diarrhea, stomach cramping, fever as high as 103 degrees F, muscle aches, fatigue, headache, and chills.”

The complaint cites product liability claims under the New Jersey Products Liability Act, which caused Connelly “physical and mental pain and suffering, past and future in the form of the pain and suffering including bodily suffering, discomfort and loss of enjoyment of life; and medical costs and expenses.” Connelly is seeking just compensation for the aforementioned damages and any other relief deemed equitable by the Court.

Connelly is represented by the Ferrara Law Firm.