As the holiday season winds down, many Massachusetts residents may be planning to begin the new year with the resolution of healthier eating – fewer starchy processed foods and more fresh fruits and vegetables. Usually, this would be a good plan.
Unfortunately, however, there have been several food contamination scares recently that could leave one wondering whether a new diet would indeed be best choice or whether eating “healthier” might end in a Massachusetts food poisoning lawsuit.
The Romaine Lettuce Recall
The United States Food & Drug Administration oversees the safety of the nation’s food supply. Often, this comes in the form of the recall of batch of foods (such as ground beef) processed within a few days time. With the recent romaine lettuce situation, however, the warning (first issued in late November) was much broader. Consumers were urged not eat any romaine lettuce and to throw out any such food product until more information was obtained by the FDA.
The FDA apparently believed that this nationwide warning was necessary to “get ahead of” an emerging, multi-state outbreak of E. coli O157:H7 that was “likely linked” to the consumption of romaine lettuce. Over the next few weeks, there were numerous reports of people being sickened with the E. coli O157:H7 strain, including at least one in Massachusetts.
Other Possibly Contaminated Products
In mid-December, a California-based producer of several other types of lettuce (including red and green leaf lettuces, as well as cauliflower) issued a voluntary recall for some of its products, as well. This recall, however, involved only certain food products harvested over a four-day period. The company’s announcement stated that the recall was being made out of an “abundance of caution” because the produce “may” be contaminated – even though none had yet tested positive.
According to the Centers for Disease Control, symptoms of an infection from E. coli bacteria (which may not manifest immediately after consuming the contaminated product) include stomach cramps, diarrhea, vomiting, and, for some people, a fever. The effects of an infection from E. coli can range from mild to life-threatening. Because of potential complications from such an infection, victims are urged to contact a physician if their illness does not pass within a few days or if they develop a high fever, blood in their stool, or severe dehydration due to vomiting.
What to Do If You Think You Have Been a Food Poisoning Victim
If you or someone in your household is suffering from what you believe may be an E. coli infection or other instance of food poisoning, you may be able to assert a claim against the individual or business responsible for the illness, seeking monetary compensation for past and future medical costs, lost wages, pain and suffering, and other damages. To schedule an appointment with an experienced Cape Cod product liability attorney, call the Law Offices of John C. Manoog, III, at 888-262-6664. Please do not delay in seeking legal (or medical) advice about a possible food contamination case, as such cases demand prompt attention.
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