Quaker Oats Class Action Claims Company Sold Salmonella-Tainted Products

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February 10, 2024

by Brian Eckert

A proposed class action lawsuit alleges that The Quaker Oats Company engaged in deceptive marketing and labeling practices when it sold food products that may contain salmonella.

Consumers in the State of New York who purchased any of the named products may be eligible to join this lawsuit as a class member. Plaintiffs and the class are represented by Milberg Senior Partner Nick Suciu III.

Litigation Tied to Quaker Recall

The Quaker Oats Company announced the recall of granola bars and granola cereals on December 15, 2023. Quaker expanded the recall on January 11, 2024 to include additional food products.

According to the expanded recall notice, certain types of Quaker cereals, bars, and snacks have the potential to be contaminated with salmonella, an organism that can cause severe and sometimes fatal illness. The recalled products, sold in all 50 U.S. states, Puerto Rico, Guam, and Saipan, include:

  • Quaker Chewy Bars
  • Quaker Puffed Granola
  • Quaker Simply Granola Oats
  • Quaker Snack Mix
  • Frito-Lay Chips
  • Lunch Box Mix
  • Tasty Snacks
  • Quaker Oatmeal Squares
  • Cap’n Crunch Cereal
  • Gatorade Protein Bars

A full list of recalled products can be found on the FDA’s website. Some of them have “best by” dates as far out as October 2024.

Omitted from the recall information is the source of the salmonella contamination. Consumer Reports notes that oats can become contaminated with salmonella from irrigation water and runoff as well as from wild animal droppings.

Consumers Unaware of Quaker Oats Salmonella Risks

Milberg’s lawsuit, filed in U.S. District Court for the Southern District of New York, claims that Quaker improperly, deceptively, and misleadingly labeled and marketed its recalled products because it failed to disclose that they may increase the risk of contracting salmonella.

Defendant is using a marketing and advertising campaign that omits from the ingredients lists that the Products contain Salmonella. This omission leads a reasonable consumer to believe they are not purchasing a product with a known bacterium when in fact they are purchasing a product contaminated with Salmonella.

Reasonable consumers such as lead plaintiff Raymond Kessler, a resident of Dutchess County, New York, had no reason to suspect that the Quaker products they purchased contain, or are at risk of containing, salmonella. Consumers lack the meaningful ability to test or independently verify whether the foods they buy are made with unsafe substances. They must rely on manufacturers to truthfully report product contents on packaging and labels.

Nowhere on packaging or labeling do the recalled Quaker products identify salmonella. It is not listed in the ingredients, nor is there any warning about the inclusion—or possible inclusion—of salmonella in the products. Reasonable consumers are thus led to believe that the products are free from salmonella.

Claims and Eligible Class Members

Quaker’s failure to provide accurate information about product ingredients violates New York General Business Law, the lawsuit contends. Plaintiff says he and class members were injured in the following ways:

  • They paid money for misrepresented products and were deprived of the benefit of the bargain.
  • They ingested a substance of a different quality than what the defendant promised.

Had plaintiff Kessler and class members known the truth about the salmonella content of the products, they would not have been willing to purchase them, the lawsuit states. As sold, the products were unhealthy and worthless and caused purchasers to lose money that the lawsuit seeks to recover.

The class is defined as all consumers who purchased the named products in the state of New York at any time during the applicable statute of limitations period.

Consumers can find out if they purchased a recalled Quaker product by scanning the SmartLabel QR code on the product package. For more information on how to use SmartLabel, visit the Quaker website.

Milberg: A National Leader in Class Action Litigation

Nick Suciu III is representing the class on a contingency-fee basis. Mr. Suciu has extensive experience and knowledge regarding the dietary, bodybuilding, and sports supplement industries, with an emphasis on mislabeling class action lawsuits.

This is the second salmonella contamination lawsuit Milberg has filed in the past month. In December, the firm accused Mid America Pet Food LLC of misleading and deceptive business practices for selling dog and cat food recalled due to salmonella.

Since 1965, Milberg—the firm that pioneered federal class action litigation—has filed thousands of class actions and recovered billions of dollars for clients.