Salmonella is one of the most dangerous pathogens haunting our food system today. The bacteria finds its way into our food through a variety of routes, including unsafe food harvesting, storage, and transportation methodologies in addition to unsafe cooking or failing to discard spoiled food. It seems like there have been more and more reports in the news lately detailing a new outbreak involving the dangerous strain, affecting everything from produce to fast food.
Recently, an outbreak of Salmonella Virchow has been linked to Garden of Life’s RAW Meal Organic Shake & Meal Products. As of March 24, 2016, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention have identified 20 different states affected by the outbreak. The specific source of the outbreak was identified as Organic Moringa Leaf powder, an ingredient that Garden of Life uses in a number of its products. Since the outbreak has been identified, Garden of Life has initiated a recall of affected products. Retailers with affected lot numbers have been asked to forgo selling the product and return it to the company.
The symptoms associated with salmonella include diarrhea, nausea, vomiting, fever, chills, headache, abdominal cramps, and bloody stool. The symptoms can last several days, with some instances requiring hospitalization. The pathogen poses a particular threat to children, the elderly, and individuals with compromised immune systems. Affected products and their lot numbers are available on the U.S. Food and Drug Administration’s website.
If you have suffered illness as the result of consuming contaminated food, you can bring a negligence lawsuit against anyone in the food production chain that may be responsible for your injuries. There are a number of facts that a plaintiff must prove to receive compensation. First, the plaintiff must demonstrate that the defendant(s) handled, grew, shipped, stored, or prepared the food.
Next, the plaintiff will need to show that the defendant owed the plaintiff a duty to use reasonable care in preventing contamination from occurring. There are countless regulations and local laws that govern the health and safety measures a food company must use when harvesting, transporting, packaging, storing, and preparing food items. Due to the complexities of these laws, it may be helpful to retain an expert witness who can testify about the exact requirements that the defendant should have followed and describe how the defendant(s) conduct fell short of these standards.
Finally, the plaintiff must show that he or she consumed the product in question and that symptoms indicating a foodborne illness manifested within close a proximity of time to when he or she consumed the food. Medical records showing that the plaintiff suffered a food-borne illness are helpful in satisfying this element. The plaintiff will also be asked to submit evidence of the monetary damages that he or she is claiming in the action.
At Moll Law Group, our dedicated team of experienced food contamination lawyers have handled countless lawsuits involving a variety of pathogens and foodborne illnesses. We understand the medical complexities that these cases often involve and will work diligently to ensure that you bring the best possible case forward. Representing clients around the country, including in Texas, California, New York, and our headquarter state of Illinois, we offer a free consultation to help you figure out the appropriate course of action for you. Call us now at 312-462-1700 or contact us online to set up your consultation now.