One of the unfortunate side effects of an efficient national food system is the ease with which dangerous food can be distributed all across the country. Eggs tainted with salmonella at one farm could be found in kitchens in five states or in commercial foods sold nationwide.
So who is responsible when contaminated food causes serious illness or death? Consumers can bring a product liability lawsuit against the parties whose unhealthy business practices resulted in the food poisoning. That could be:
- The farmer who had unsanitary conditions on the farm, resulting in salmonella on sprouts or cantaloupe
- The meatpacking company where unsanitary conditions contaminated meat with feces carrying E. coli
- The produce handler where unsanitary conditions transferred listeria monocytogenes bacteria to lettuce or staphylococcus aureus to cheese
- The food producer that failed to do quality tests or allowed one product to be contaminated by another product (for example, peanut or milk contamination)
Experience That Gets Results in Product Liability and Food Poisoning Cases
There are more than 200 pathogens that can contaminate food, but five are responsible for most food-borne illnesses: Campylobacter, E. coli, listeria monocytogenes, salmonella and Toxoplasma gondii.
While the most common symptom of food poisoning is temporary diarrhea and vomiting, some people suffer serious, long-term injuries and even death.
- Campylobacter infection can cause paralysis, arthritis and infections of the heart and blood.
- E. coli can lead to kidney failure in children, kidney disease in adults, anemia, neurological problems and diabetes. E. coli causes more deaths than any other food-borne bacteria.
- Listeria monocytogenes can result in miscarriage, premature birth and stillbirth. It can result in brain and spinal cord infections and about 20 percent of people who develop an infection die from it.
- Salmonella can result in reactive arthritis.
- Toxoplasma gondii can lead to vision problems and cognitive difficulties.
Proper food-handling techniques and hygienic food processing can eliminate food-borne illnesses like these, and yet companies fail to take the precautions necessary to safeguard our health.
At Harris & Harris Lawyers, we understand the challenges you are living with if you’re suffering the long-term consequences of food contamination. We are aggressive in pursuing the facts and in holding companies responsible wherever they are in the chain from farm to table. We work hard to ensure our clients receive full and fair compensation for all injuries.