According to the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s Food Safety and Inspection Service (FSIS), 131 food products were recalled in 2017. On the news, we hear and read about recalled food products throughout the nation. This past spring, 35,000 lbs of ground beef were recalled after customers found blue plastic pieces in the meat and 200,000 eggs were recalled due to a fear of salmonella. But what happens when someone is injured by a contaminated food product? The injured party may have a product liability claim.
Product Liability Claims
Food companies are bound by sanitation and health laws and must make sure that consumers receive food that meets these health standards. If a food company fails to meet health and safety standards, they may be liable for injuries sustained by consumers who have consumed contaminated food. To prove a food product liability case, it must be shown that the product was contaminated in some way and that this contamination was the cause of injury to the plaintiff.
Food product liability cases are easiest when there has been a food product recall demonstrating that the food in question was contaminated in some way. Usually, when a food is recalled, there has already been some type of injury or illness outbreak associated with the product. Scientific testing can provide substantial evidence linking the contaminated food with a plaintiff’s illness or injury.
When do Food Recalls Occur?
When there is a reason to believe that a food product that was sent out to consumers is potentially dangerous, a recall should be issued. Food recalls can occur for a number of reasons including:
- Food that is contaminated
- Food that is defective
- Mislabeled food
- Food without proper warning labels
- Food that was improperly packaged
Keeping Your Family Safe
Sometimes a food product isn’t recalled until it’s too late and people have already been injured. But there are steps you can take to protect your family from contaminated foods.
- Check for recent recalls. gov keeps a database of recent food recalls or check for food safety alerts on the New York State Department of Agriculture website.
- If a product has been recalled and you still have it, return it to the store.
- If a product has been recalled because it contained bacteria, watch for food poisoning symptoms and check in with your doctor.
- If you have used the recalled food in your kitchen make sure to thoroughly clean the kitchen and all items that have come in contact with the food.
Contact an Experienced Attorney
If you’ve been injured by a contaminated food product, you may have a claim for product liability. At Bonina & Bonina, P.C., we have over 50 years of experience helping New Yorkers injured by defective products. Contact us online or call us at 1-888-MED-LAW1 to schedule your free consultation. Home and hospital visits available. Se habla espaňol.