Forensic Files

In 1996, 16-month-old Anne Grace Gimmenstad became very ill, was rushed to the hospital and died within two weeks. Following extensive medical examinations, it was determined that Anna had been the victim of the deadly bacteria E.coli. Anna'a mother recalled a trip to the grocery store when Anna pointed excitedly at her favorite drink, Odwalla apple juice. As early as 1993, tests on samples of Odwalla juices found high levels of general bacteria. Federal and state inspections reports confirm that the company used two loads of apples with relatively high defect levels on the day the juice was made. The genetic markings on the E.coli in the victims matched the bacteria found in the product bottled that day. Odwalla pled guilty to violating Federal food safety laws and agreed to pay a $1.5 million fine for the outbreak of E.coli in its juices.