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| Shapiro, Appleton & Washburn

Slim Fast, the popular weight loss beverage, has issued a recall due to the discovery of harmful bacteria in their product that could cause food poisoning including nausea, vomiting, and diarrhea. The bacteria discovered was Bacillus cereus, which is in the same category as Salmonella as a food-borne illness.

The product was sold nationwide, so there could be contaminated Slim Fast in North and South Carolina associated with food poisoning. In fact, some people believe up to 10 million cans of Slim Fast could be affected, according to CNN. The recall covers all flavors, best-by date, and product number. Slim-Fast had two other major food contamination/poisoning recalls roughly 10 years ago.

Over two million cans of the drinks were recalled because of the risk of gastrointestinal sickness, according to A year prior to that, 192,000 cans were recalled when they were suspected of being tainted with a caustic cleaning solution. More recently, Slim Fast recalled a product earlier this year.

Back in February, Slim Fast had to recall their “on-the-go” bars due to the risk of salmonella food poisoning contamination. In many states, sellers and distributors of food automatically by law provide what is called an implied warranty that their food is wholesome, safe to eat, and is not contaminated (even if not in writing, mandated and "implied" by law). The warranty is a basis of food poisoning lawsuits or claims where a person has serious medical complications, such as hospitalization, doctor’s bills, and even permanent effects of the food poisoning.

About the Editors: Shapiro, Cooper, Lewis & Appleton personal injury law firm (VA-NC law offices) edits the injury law blogs Virginia Beach Injuryboard, Norfolk Injuryboard, and Northeast North Carolina Injuryboard as a pro bono service to consumers.


  1. Gravatar for Miriam Fry
    Miriam Fry

    I have been sick for over a week. Thought I had ulcers. So I've been eating only soft food. I have been drinking Slim Fast. 2-3 a day. A friend of mine told me about this recall yesterday. I stopped drinking it immediately. Only had 1 yesterday before she told me. I am feeling better today. I am throwing out all drinks and bars. I have always liked Slim Fast and drink it often, espeically when I travel. Now I will have to find another protien drink.

  2. Gravatar for Rick Shapiro
    Rick Shapiro

    Thanks for responding. The spectrum of harm can go from your body fighting off the contamination to possible hospitalization. In many food poisoning situations, it is very hard for the doctor or hospital to pinpoint the problem. That is why a law blog like ours helps consumers keep track of food recalls and product recalls.

  3. Gravatar for BarBaJean


    My Mother has been sick for 4 days now, I took her shopping @ Miejers last Tuesday evening. She/We purchased Stawberry Cream, Chocolate Royal by cases, She always has a case or 2 around. She has been extremely sick in her stomach and dizzy. We anticipating on going to hospital. As she has not been any where and no visitors to catch any thing else going around, so it must be your drinks!!!

    What will you do for her? and When?


  4. Gravatar for Sandi Trend
    Sandi Trend

    Everyone needs to know that natural microorganisms have been used for years on our food crops: ie biopesticides, bioinsecticides, biofungicides, biomicodides etc. Bacillus cereus is amonst those. The following information was taken from one United States Patent only [US Patent 5869042 - Methods for controlling above-ground plant diseases using antibiotic-producing bacillus sp. ATCC 55608 or 55609]. There are MANY OTHERS.

    Naturally-occurring fungicidal bacterial strains are relatively uncommon. Screening programs have identified certain Bacillus sp. (B. sp. includes B. subtilis, B. cereus, B. mycodies, B. anthracis and B. thuringiensis) strains which exhibit antifungal activity. (See, e.g., Stabb et al. (1990) Applied Environ. Microbiol. 60(12):4404-4412). These strains have been shown to produce zwittermicin-A and/or "antibiotic B," now known as kanosamine (Milner et al. (1996) Appl. Environ. Microbiol. 62:3061-3065), two antibiotic agents which are effective against the soil borne disease "damping-off" caused by Phytophthora medicaginis, Phytophthora nicotianae, Phytophthora aphanidermatum or Sclerotinia minor. (See, Stabb et al., supra).

    Zwittermicin A is a water-soluble, acid-stable linear aminopolyol molecule. (See, He et al. (1994) Tetra. Lett. 35(16):2499-2502). U.S. Pat. No. 5,049,379 to Handelsman et al. describes how zwittermicin A-producing B. cereus can be used to control the below-ground seedling diseases "root rot" and "damping off" in alfalfa and soybean. When the seed is coated with zwittermicin-A produced by B. cereus ATCC 53522, the pathogenic activity of the root rot fungus is inhibited. Similarly, application of spore-based formulations of certain B. cereus strains to soybean seeds or the soil surrounding the seeds has been shown to improve soybean yield at field sites. (See, Osburne et al. (1995) Am. Phytophathol. Soc. 79(6): 551-556).

    Smith et al. (1993) Plant Disease 77(2):139-142 report that the activity of the soil-borne fungus, Pythium aphandiermatum, that causes cottony cucumber leak can be suppressed using zwittermicin-producing B. cereus strain UW85. Liefert et al. (1995) J. Appl. Bacteriol. 78:97-108 report the production of anti-Botrytis and anti-Alternaria brassicicola antibiotics by two Bacillus strains, B. subtilis CL27 and B. pumilis CL45. The whole broth and cell-free filtrates were active against Botrytis and Alternaria in in vitro tests and were active against Botrytis in in vivo small plants tests on Astilbe. The authors identified three antibiotics produced by the B. subtilis strain CL27, two of which were thought to be peptides and one non-peptide. Unlike the bacterial strains of the present invention, the antibiotics produced by the B. pumilis strain CL45 demonstrated only in vitro activity, no in vivo activity was demonstrated.

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