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It's never fun getting food poisoning, but usually it passes within a few days. Sometimes, however, you end up with a severe case that can take much longer to recover from and have a significant impact on your life. When that happens, you may have the right to a legal remedy. Dawn Malek is one person affected by food poisoning who has decided to take legal action. She has filed a lawsuit against Burrito Delight, which is currently being investigated for a salmonella outbreak that occurred in February.
Outbreak of Food Poisoning
Public officials in Weld County have confirmed a total of 37 cases of salmonella that they believe are linked to food made by Burrito Delight, which has locations in Fort Lupton and Dacono. The first reports of foodborne illness came about in mid-February when 17 individuals got sick after eating at two events that had been catered by Burrito Delight. An additional 13 people got sick after eating at the Fort Lupton location of Burrito Delight, and 7 people became sick after getting takeout from that location. Public health investigators deemed that the outbreak was over on March 9th, since 5 days had passed without any new illnesses being reported.
Malek ate a taco at Burrito Delight's Lupton location on February 18th, and began experiencing severe diarrhea and fatigue several days later. Her symptoms became so severe that she visited the doctor. Malek was contacted by health officials to inform her of her exposure to salmonella and asked what she had eaten at the restaurant. According to the lawsuit, although Malek's symptoms started fading after about a week, she continued to suffer from various symptoms, including "significant abdominal discomfort." The long recovery has also made it extremely difficult for Malek to continue interviewing for jobs, which has led to additional economic injury.
Past Violations at Burrito Delight
The restaurant has had previous food safety violations. In fact, according to the lawsuit, health inspectors have found 22 red violations during five inspections at the Fort Lupton location since 2015. For reference, a red violation is one that's "more likely than other violations to contribute to food contamination or illness." The Dacono location has also had 20 red violations in the past 2 years. Health officials have said that Burrito Delight failed health inspection in several areas including the presence of a rodent, appropriate storage, and temperature control.