Most consumers in the United States are privileged to be able to walk into a supermarket of their choosing and select the items they want from the rows upon rows of food choices offered in nearly every grocery store in the nation. With the stringent regulations that apply to food distributors, customers can feel reasonably safe purchasing their food, and they do not typically worry about whether or not the food could harm them. However, local San Diego food poisoning attorneys know all too well how important it is to remember that the system is not foolproof, and unsafe food occasionally still slips through the cracks and onto the shelves of our grocery stores.
Food can become contaminated in a variety of different ways. For example, vegetables may be inadvertently grown in contaminated soil. Unsanitary conditions at food processing plants can also lead to bacteria content in food that is distributed to grocery stores. These unsanitary conditions can involve dirty machinery or work areas, rodent and insect infestation, and employees who fail to properly maintain their own hygiene.
Although buying organic products can be safer in some respects, it does not eliminate the risk of food contamination. For example, on August 5, 2011, Fresh & Easy Neighborhood Market, Inc. issued a recall for certain bags of its organic baby spinach. The recall came after the company discovered bacteria in its product that can lead to a disease called listeriosis. Listeriosis can cause illness in adults and children, but it is most harmful for pregnant women and their unborn children. Listeriosis can cause miscarriages, birth defects, premature delivery, and other health problems for the child. It can also cause serious infections for people with depressed immune systems, such as those with cancer or diabetes. Thus far, no illnesses have been reported in connection with the baby spinach, but the story demonstrates how, even in a country where food is regulated rather heavily by the government, contamination still does happen.
Those who are harmed by diseases caused by food contamination are not without any recourse. On the contrary, people who become ill as a result of eating such food can contact a California food poisoning lawyer to assess whether or not they have a claim against the food distributor or any other parties along the supply chain. In our area a San Diego food poisoning attorney can determine whether the distributor can be held responsible for paying the victim’s medical bills, as well as other expenses that may arise as the result of the poisoning, such as lost wages from missing work or any necessary cleaning or sanitizing costs.
In addition to getting compensation for the victims, California food poisoning lawsuits can also help to shape future policies and, more importantly, to provide greater incentive to companies to ensure that the food that they produce and distribute is safe. Often, the expenses that companies must pay out to settle lawsuits or to satisfy judgments are the greatest incentives for those companies to work harder to make their products safe.
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