Recently in Food Poisoning Category

September 20, 2011

Listeria Outbreak Reported in 17 States Due to Rocky Ford Cantaloupes

Listeria-Cantaloup.jpgThe Food and Drug Administration (FDA) and the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) Issued a Rocky Ford Cantaloupe recall on September 14, 2011, following an investigation, due to reports of listeriosis outbreaks that have so far made 22 people in seven states sick. Nine other outbreaks of listeriosis were also reported in New Mexico, of which three resulted in deaths.

The recall was issued in 17 states in connection with this listeria food poisoning outbreak. Listeria infections, also known as listeriosis, pose risks for children, the elderly and those with weak immune systems. For pregnant women, it can cause miscarriages and still births. The fatality rate is about 25%. Listeria can however be treated with antibiotics, once it is diagnosed through blood testing. Symptoms include: muscle aches, abdominal pain, nausea, diarrhea, sever headaches and fever. If the infection spreads to other organs or even in the bloodstream it could cause meningitis and other health complications. Therefore, it is important that you get the necessary blood work done to determine whether what you are experiencing is listeriosis or not.

This Jensen Farms Rocky Ford Cantaloupe Recall affects the following states: Illinois, Wyoming, Tennessee, Utah, Texas, Colorado, Minnesota, Kansas, New Mexico, North Carolina, Missouri, Nebraska, Oklahoma, Arizona, New Jersey, New York and Pennsylvania.

If you have any further questions or concerns, please contact the FDA, the CDC and your local state health department.

July 12, 2011

Basis for Product Liability Legal Claims

When consumers make purchases they expect them to function properly and safely. It is when the purchased defective item causes injuries and illnesses that there are basis for product liability lawsuits. Some of these items are: automobiles, prescription drugs, beauty products, frozen foods, automobile parts and tires, etc.

When Manufactures realize that a product is defective they issue out a recall of that item to consumers. However, recalls do not always keep the consumer safe.

Product liability claims are based on the theory of negligence. The manufacturer has a duty to exercise a reasonable standard of care for developing a particular product, and has failed to do so; thus resulting in harm to the consumer. When making a negligence claim, the injured consumer must prove that the defective product was the actual and proximate cause of the injury. One must show that had it not been for the defective product, the injury would not have occurred. The manufacturer should have foreseen the danger and risk when it sold the product.

Design defect, failure to warn/improper labeling and manufacturing defects are the most common scenarios that form the basis for a product liability claim.

Product liability claims can also be based on the following legal theories:
- Breach of Warranty - failure to fulfill terms of a promise or claim made regarding the quality and safety of a product. A manufacturer must guarantee certain warranties on products sold and needs to be held accountable when they are breached;

- Strict Liability - responsibility of the manufacturer to all consumers who might be injured by a product and does not require the injured consumer to prove negligence. The consumer only needs to prove that the product was defective and therefore cause the injury, therefore; making the product unreasonable defective and dangerous. The designer, manufacturer, distributor and seller of the defective product can and should be held liable for the injury and illnesses cause to the consumer.

- Misrepresentation - when a manufacturer gives the consumer false or misleading information on the safety and reliance of a product. When the consumer relies on this information and is harmed, they can recover money damages.

A consumer can also contact the Consumer Product Safety Commission for further details and advice.

November 22, 2010

E. Coli Contamination Outbreak in Maryland

A food poisoning case was filed in Baltimore, Maryland as a result of E. coli contamination found in Baugher's Orchard Apple Cider. This apple cider is sold in Maryland and Pennsylvania and has since been taken off the market. Consumers are instructed not to drink this cider and to dispose of it immediately. Several cases of E. coli food poisoning were reported.

What is E. coli?
- a bacteria that can survive in an environment with or without air and can produce hair-like structures that allow the bacteria to move and attach to human cells. These bacteria most commonly live in the intestines of animals and humans. Though there are many types of E. coli in the United States, the most common is E. coli O157:H7.
E. coli.gif
Symptoms of E. coli Infections:
- nausea
- vomiting
- mild fever
- stomach cramps, and
- diarrhea that is often bloody

If E. coli infections go untreated they can lead to hospitalizations and in rare instances Hemolytic-Uremia Syndrome (HUS), which is a form of kidney failure, that occurs when the toxin/bacteria enters the blood stream. If left untreated, it can lead to dehydration and potentially life-threatening illnesses. However, most adults recover from food poisoning cause by E. coli within a few weeks. Young children and the elderly are at higher risks for more sever illnesses.

The most common type of E. coli is E. coli O157:H7. The U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) estimate that about 70,000 people are affected with this specific type of E. coli each year. This type of E. coli is most commonly associates with hamburger meats; therefore, it is commonly referred to as the hamburger disease. It is also associated with contaminated water, foods and unpasteurized dairy products.

If you believe that you may be suffering from E. coli food poisoning please seek immediate medical attention. The sooner you seek treatment, the lower the risk of potential health complications.