The FDA recently released a report regarding a voluntary recall of tins of Rich Fields Butter Cookies sold at Rite Aid retail stores.
Rite Aid is an American chain of drugstores that span across the United States. The Rite Aid Corporation heads approximately 4,700 stores across 31 states, and Rite Aid is the third-largest drugstore chain in the United States.
According to the FDA’s statement, Rite Aid has initiated a voluntary chain-wide recall of approximately 85,000 tins of butter cookies distributed by Rite Aid under the Rich Fields brand name, because of the possibility of contamination with Bacillus cereus.
Bacillus cereus is a form of bacteria that is potentially harmful to humans, often presenting in the form of foodborne illnesses. Some strains of the Bacillus cereus bacteria are beneficial and have been used as a probiotic additive to reduce salmonella bacteria in the intestines of animals, making them safer for human consumption. Nevertheless, Bacillus cereus is also responsible for a number of forms of food poisoning with symptoms such as severe nausea, vomiting, and diarrhea. Bacillus cereus often infects foods when cooking temperatures are less than 100 °C (212 °F), which allows some Bacillus cereus spores to survive; the contamination is exacerbated when infected food is then improperly refrigerated, which allows the bacteria to reproduce.
This particular recall applies to 12 oz. tins of Rich Fields Butter Cookies featuring either a decorative castle or Christmas designs and sold exclusively in Rite Aid stores. Affected tins of cookies are labeled with UPC codes 01249596519 and 88411804619 located directly beneath the bar code on the bottom of each tin. The statement released by the FDA recommends that customers should not eat the cookies and instead can return them to any Rite Aid store for a full refund.
This particular situation provides a prime example of two very important types of Illinois personal injury law.
Initially, this is an instance that would fall under Illinois product liability law. Companies who manufacture products – including food products – are responsible for ensuring that the merchandise that they distribute to the public is free from potential hazard. When products cause injuries – or, as in this case, illnesses – the manufacturing companies may be held legally responsible for damages arising from the injuries caused by those products.
Additionally, this situation illustrates ideas that are important in Illinois food poisoning cases. According to 2010 estimates by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention(CDC), each year roughly 48 million people are sickened by a foodborne illness. Even worse, over 125,000 people require hospitalization and 3,000 die after consuming contaminated foods in their homes or in restaurants. When a company or restaurant disseminates contaminated food, they may be liable for the injuries or illnesses that those foods cause to consumers.
People who suffer serious personal injury, hospitalization, or death of a loved one due to food poisoning may be able to seek compensation for economic and non-economic damages. Our Illinois personal injury attorneys have extensive experience representing clients in similar cases, including a $4 million settlement for three convention attendees who contracted salmonella poisoning that caused them to suffer crippling arthritic injuries.
If you or a loved one have suffered injury due to contaminated food from a store or restaurant, seek immediate medical attention. You may also be entitled to compensation for your injuries.