Articles Posted in Food Poisoning 1

In this “most wonderful time of the year,” our lives are filled with celebration and frequent parties with friends, loved ones, and colleagues. It’s also extremely popular to celebrate the end of a successful year with your co-workers at the office. One popular way to do so is through an office-wide potluck, catered event, or party where co-workers can gather together and take a break from work to relax with one another. It’s important to keep such occasions a time of merriment, so be sure to keep your co-workers safe from food poisoning by following these safety tips.

According to the United States Department of Agriculture, there are several ways you can keep your office party safe and food poisoning free. First, it is important to keep hot the dishes that are supposed to be served hot. These dishes are always best served immediately after cooking or reheating. If serving a hot dish at an office party, take the food straight from the oven and place it in an insulated bag or hot food carrier. Also, if you cannot serve this hot dish as soon as you arrive to the party, return it to the oven. You can also chill the item and heat it later using a microwave or oven. Second, just as hot dishes need to be kept hot, cold food needs to be kept cold. These dishes should remain in a refrigerator for as long as possible. When transporting these dishes, place them in a cooler with plenty of ice keeping them at a temperature of 40 degrees Fahrenheit or colder. Third, it can also help to use several smaller platters. When you have a large dish, you can take a portion of it to a smaller platter that is ready to be consumed, and keep the remainder of the larger dish hot or cold as needed. Lastly, is it always important to keep track of the time. Know how long items have been sitting out, and discard whatever has been out for over two hours. This is especially important to follow for perishable foods like meat, eggs, and casseroles. After two hours, bacteria can grow in food in a high enough quantity to make your co-workers ill.
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Every week, many Americans consume beef products. From hamburgers to soups to pot roast to sandwiches, beef is an extremely common food in many of our diets. Because it is so frequently purchased and consumed, that is all the more reason that it should be thoroughly inspected and properly handled and packaged in a way to prevent contamination and maintain safety. Under product liability law, companies have a legal duty to prevent injury to customers via defective and dangerous products, such as contaminated food, by inspecting products for dangers, removing such items from the marketplace, and warning customers about known dangers. When a company fails and breaches this duty with food products, customers may suffer illness or injury as a result of food poisoning.

According to a recent report by the Food Safety and Inspection Service of the United States Department of Agriculture, one beef processor has recalled ground beef due to possible foreign matter contamination. The processor, Sam Kane Beef Processors, is recalling 90,987 pounds of ground beef that could have been contaminated. All of the products were produced between September 9th and September 18th with sell by dates of September 29th and October 8th. The products include 3 lb. packages of ground chuck with establishment number 337, 5 lb. packages of ground beef with establishment number 337, 10 lb. packages of ground beef with establishment number 337, and 10 lb. clear film packages of formed patties also with establishment number 337. Even though these sell by dates are from 2 weeks ago, it is possible that many people could still have these products in their home freezers as meat can be frozen and used months later. If you have any of these beef products in your home, it is recommended that you dispose of them immediately.
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Who doesn’t love the smell of spices simmering on the stove in a freshly made pasta sauce? Or the smell of Italian seasons wafting from the oven as a pizza bakes inside? The first bite of freshly made spices with an eclectic variety is the best taste too. We anticipate that dish that we spent a great deal of time and preparation on to be exquisite too, with its delicious aroma and bouquet of seasonings. However, with all the work and preparation people put into gourmet foods, chances are that they did not prepare these entrees with a side of salmonella and food poisoning.

As many food-lovers know, oregano is a popular spice for many loved dishes. It’s commonly found in pastas, sauces, and as a seasoning for meats. It’s a staple in many home spice cabinets as is the popular brand McCormick. However, recent news from Baltimore Business Journal has relayed that McCormick spice company has recalled their oregano for salmonella contamination. Under a voluntary recall, the company is recalling 74,000 bottles of ground oregano. The bottles at issue will be the 0.75 ounce bottles with Universal Product Code of 0-52365106 and contain best-buy dates of August 21st and August 22nd. The potentially contaminated bottles were shipped to 41 states across the country and internationally between April 4th and August 5th. McCormick became aware of the contamination after a routine inspection by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration.
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From the time we are kids, we are told how important it is to eat our fruits and vegetables to be conscious of our health. These foods are generally very nutritious and full of the vitamins and minerals we need to stay healthy. However, when these foods are not properly handled by grocers or producers, they can become contaminated and cause food poisoning or even fatal disease in unknowing consumers. Because we trust that the foods we purchase are safe for consumption and rely on producers and growers to provide healthy and safe foods, it is the legal duty of commercial food producers and merchants under the law to inspect foods, remove those that are unsafe or contaminated, and to warn consumers of known dangers.

According to CBS News, fruit is being recalled from major grocers for due to possible listeria contamination. Wawona, a fruit-packing company based out of California, announced a recall of their peaches, plums, nectarines, and pluots. Some of the fruit has tested positive for listeria. The fruit at issue was packed between June 1, 2014 through July 12, 2014 and was shipped to major grocers, such as Trader Joe’s and Costco. As our readers know, under products liability law, it is the job of producers and stores to inspect products for damage and contamination, remove the dangerous products from the stream of commerce, and to warn consumers about the known dangers. Where a company fails to do this and a consumer suffers injury as a result of their failing to do so, they have breached their legal duty and can be held liable in a lawsuit.
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When growing up and becoming a young adult and learning to cook, many of us may remember lectures and lessons from our parents about how to properly handle the food we consume and handle, particularly in preparation. During those family meal preparations and cooking as a group, you probably heard a lot about clean surfaces, washing your hands before and after touching raw meats, and thoroughly heating our foods until they were an even color. Many of us were taught this especially regarding chicken. It’s a favorite food to many families and is consumed in pastas, salads, and sandwiches but does indeed require safety knowledge.

However, consider what if even when you have this wealth of knowledge about cooking that you learned and applied these skills that you could still be in harm’s way. This can in fact happen by no fault of the consumer, but due to negligence of the grocer or distributor. When these parties fail to inspect a food for contamination, improperly handle it as to cause it to spoil, or fail to remove the products from the stream of commerce and customers suffer injury and illness, they can be held liable under products liability law.

According to a recent article by the Wall Street Journal, within the past 16 months more than 500 people in the U.S. have become sick due to salmonella linked to Foster Farms’ chicken. Federal officials have linked the company to an antibiotic-resistant strain of salmonella. Foster Farms has issued a product recall and said that the recall affects 170 products sold in 11 different states under both its brand and the store brands Kroger and Safeway. For the most part these products should have “use or freeze by” dates of no later than March 31, but USDA officials fear that the products could still be in the hands and homes of consumers. Since March of last year, the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention have identified 621 people in the country who have become sick from the salmonella known as Heidelberg. Of these people, 36% have needed hospitalization.
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Health food has been all the craze lately, as we have witnessed a rise in fitness and nutrition among not only Chicagoans, but nationwide. It seems people are putting more and more effort and time into knowing and understanding what they eat and how it affects that body. With that being said, it is unfortunate when people are so diligent about their health and fitness that popular nutrition foods have been found culprit of carrying salmonella and causing injury and sickness to those same health-conscious people.

According to recent reports by Food Safety News, chia seeds have been found to be infected with salmonella across the nation. As of lately, chia seeds have been an increasingly popular health food item and are popular on health shows, magazines, and social media. Before people jump into this trend though, they need to be aware and ensure their seeds haven’t been on the list of recalled products that have or may be contaminated with salmonella, such as those produced by Navitas Naturals. Since May alone, there have been over 65 cases of salmonella infections in 12 U.S. states and in Canada linked to chia seeds products. A total of eight people have been hospitalized as well. According to the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, this is the first time that chia seeds have been found to transmit salmonella.
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Chicago has definitely endured a long bone-chilling winter. Thankfully, it seems as if it has finally come to an end, and spring has arrived. That means that summer and grilling season is just around the corner for Chicagoland backyards. What better way to enjoy the nice weather than sit on the deck with family and friends enjoying a burger hot off the grill – that is, unless that burger could send you the doctor for serious illness.

According to recent reports by the United States Department of Agriculture, consumers should be aware of beef products they purchase at their local grocery store for E. coli contamination. A Detroit based meat packing company, Wolverine Packing Company, is recalling 1.8 million pound of ground beef that could be contaminated with E. coli. The packages at issue will have the establishment number “EST. 2574B” with a product date between March 31, 2014 through April 18, 2014. Although originating in the Midwest, these products have appeared both in grocery stores and in restaurants nationwide.

The U.S. Department of Agriculture’s Food Safety and Inspection Service (FSIS) began receiving notifications of E. coli illnesses on May 8, 2014. The agency then conducted an investigation and traced the illness back to Wolverine Packing Company. As of May 19, 2014, there have been 11 patients with E. coli illnesses in 4 different states.
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Every day people go to their local grocery store or super market for food supplies however they cannot always trust that their food is safe to eat. It is all too common that stores and manufacturers fail to properly inspect food for dangers and contamination and fail to remove it from the marketplace. Food is something that a customer should never have to question whether or not it is safe. Food is meant to be our sustenance and nutrition, and when companies fail to ensure that it is safe for consumption, instead of a source of our vitality, it is instead a danger, or even a poison of sorts.

According to a recent article by the Food Poisoning Bulletin, the food company, Nutriom, has announced a recall of 82,884 pounds of processed egg products. This recall is in addition to the 226,710 pounds of egg products already recalled this February. The affected products were produced between January of 2013 through January of 2014. They will contain the establishment number “INSPECTED EGG PRODUCTS PLANT 21493G.” It is possible that these products have been contaminated with salmonella, and customers who have these products are urged to throw them out and should not eat them. Doing so could cause a food poisoning infection called salmonellosis.

Salmonella is a serious complication that can be caused by contaminated foods or improperly prepared foods. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, salmonella is estimated to caused 1.2 million illnesses in the United States alone every year. From these illnesses, 23,000 end up in hospitals, and 450 result in death. Typical symptoms include fever, abdominal pains, and diarrhea within 12 to 72 hours after exposure and infection. The illness itself lasts 4 to 7 days.

Our attorneys consistently stress the importance of consumers being able to trust that the goods and food they purchase are safe and non-defective product. Under products liability law, stores and manufacturers must inspect their products for any potential dangers, remove and fix such dangers, or warn customers of dangers and provide instructions for proper use (such as cooking chicken to proper temperatures). Where a customer becomes sick or injured from a defective or dangerous product, the company and/or manufacturer can be held liable in a lawsuit.

To keep customers safe from dangerous products, this means that the seller must also keep a clean and safe working environment, especially where employees are directly handling the products, such as in restaurants. Where a restaurant mishandles food products, a patron could become ill from contaminated food. That is why it is vital that restaurants have safety procedures in place, such as requiring employees to wash their hands, use gloves, store foods in refrigerators, etc.

However, a recent scientific food study has revealed a surprising danger in restaurants, which many customers would not think twice about as a safety issue. Shocking to many, this newly discovered danger actually lies in germ-filled lemon wedges. According to an article by the Huffington Post, lemon wedges used in restaurants as garnishes for water, diet sodas, and cocktails could actually be filled with bacteria and germs. A study done by the Journal of Environmental Health swabbed 76 lemons from 21 restaurants from 43 visits. The results of this study revealed that 70% of these lemons produced microbial growth. While the researchers cannot be 100% positive of the source of the bacteria, they hypothesize that the bacterial could have come from an employee or raw meat. It is for that reason that the researchers wish to make restaurant-goers aware that lemon slices in beverages may contain pathogenic microbes.

Food is a source of nourishment and energy. It is essential to our health, particularly to keep our minds working and our bodies fit. However, what about when food we purchase poses serious health risks? Recent news has spurred a lot of dialogue over this consideration.

According to an article by the LA Times, Hot Pockets are in the midst of a recall over a possible meat contamination. The parent company, Nestle USA, announced the voluntary recall of the philly steak and cheese flavors. It is believed that these microwave pocket sandwiches are involved with the Rancho Feeding Corporation beef recall. Although Nestle does not purchase meat directly from Rancho Feeding Corp., it discovered that company in its suppliers has purchased meat from Rancho Feeding Corp. within the past year, which is within the recall time period. Now, Nestle USA has confirmed that the meat was used at the company’s production site in Chatsworth. Our attorneys want to make our readers aware or the recall and encourage you to throw away the products that could already be in your home. The packages at issue are the Hot Pockets Philly Steak & Cheese 9-ounce boxes, 54-ounce boxes, and 22.5 ounce boxes.

Products liability is an area of the law that our attorneys are knowledgeable and have been experienced in for over 20 years, since the firm’s inception in 1992. To put product liability into plain terms, let’s use this very example of food. When you go to your local super market, you normally do not question whether the food you are purchasing is dangerous for your well-being, contaminated, or harmful to ingest. It is because of this area of the law that you can do so.

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