Food contamination is a serious threat to consumers and for a good reason. The illnesses and injuries that can result from consuming contaminated food include severe illnesses, permanent life-altering conditions, and even death. One of the most notorious strains of foodborne illness is salmonella, which can enter food products through a number of channels. Food can become contaminated with salmonella during the processing, packaging, or handling process if the handler does not wash his or her hands, or disinfect food contact surfaces.
Nearly 900 cases of salmonella outbreaks related to contaminated cucumbers have been reported across the United States, including 241 in California, 43 in Minnesota, and 52 in Texas. There have been at least six deaths reported as well. The infected produce was linked to Andrew & Williamson Fresh Produce, which imported the cucumbers from Mexico.
When it comes to liability, a food processor or retailer can be found negligent and held liable for failing to utilize reasonable care when preparing the food items and protecting against contamination. In this context, reasonable care requires the preparer or processor to identify and eliminate any unreasonable dangers, such as storing food in unsanitary methods or failing to discard spoiled food. If the plaintiff can show that this lack of reasonable care was the cause of his or her illness, the plaintiff will be entitled to compensation.
A plaintiff also may recover damages based on other theories of recovery, such as product liability or breach of warranty. In the context of food contamination, a product liability case would require the plaintiff to show that the food product was unreasonably dangerous. This theory does not require the plaintiff to prove causation. Also, any business in the food production chain may be held liable for food contamination under strict liability, including the producer, processor, distributor, wholesaler, and retailer.
Salmonella can be extremely dangerous when contracted by infants, children, adults with immune disorders, and the elderly. Common symptoms that indicate possible salmonella poisoning include abdominal cramping, fever, and diarrhea. In some cases, the infected individual may develop a disease known as Reiter’s syndrome, which can last between a few months and several years and has also been shown to cause the onset of chronic arthritis. It can lead to substantial medical expenses, lost wages, and even a diminished quality of life if the illness leads to permanent injuries and conditions.
If you or someone you love has become sick after eating contaminated food, you may be entitled to compensation. At Moll Law Group, our dedicated team of food contamination lawyers has provided compassionate and dedicated legal counsel to individuals throughout the country, including in Texas, Florida, California, and Illinois. We offer a free consultation to help you learn about your options and the compensation that may be available to you. The legal process can seem daunting and confusing, especially when you are dealing with painful injuries and illnesses. We can guide you through each step of the process while ensuring your rights are protected. Call us at 312-462-1700 or contact us online to set up your appointment.