Not long ago, our Chicago personal injury attorneys reflected on the potential hazard posed by a food recall of Kraft’s microwavable Velveeta Shells & Cheese. It seems now that our fears have come to light, after it was recently reported that a couple has filed a personal injury lawsuit against Kraft Foods, alleging the husband sustained a perforated bowel and peritonitis from a piece of metal he ingested when he ate the microwaveable meal.
According to the Kentucky Herald-Leader, the victim underwent surgery for the injuries caused by the metal inclusions one day before Kraft Foods Global recalled the microwavable dish.
Three varieties of Kraft Velveeta Shells & Cheese Microwaveable cups were voluntarily recalled from the market after it was discovered that approximately 137,000 cases of products that contained wire bristles were distributed to retail stores across the United States. The lawsuit alleges the shells and cheese “contained pieces of metal which caused the product to be hazardous and dangerous if ingested.”
Kraft Foods, Inc. is an American food and beverage conglomerate, headquartered in the Chicago suburb of Northfield, Illinois. Kraft Foods is the third largest food and beverage manufacturer in the world, and markets its products in more than 170 countries. Nevertheless, Illinoisans are at perhaps the greatest risk for harm: the recalled products were manufactured in Champaign, Illinois, and distributed to retail stores across Illinois.
The personal injury lawsuit in this case asserts that the man bought the product from a local Sam’s Club and ate it on September 21, 2011. He was admitted to the hospital 8 days later, and, according to the Kentucky Herald-Leader “a CT scan was performed which revealed ‘a linear metallic foreign body within the small bowel in the mid abdomen.’ Further, the injury caused peritonitis, which can be a life-threatening inflammation.
Ultimately the man had to have a significant portion of his small bowel resectioned to remove both “the metallic body” and the portion of the bowel that had been damaged by the ingested metal, said the Kentucky Herald-Leader.
Products liability is an area of Illinois personal injury law that focuses on dangerous and defective products. “Products,” in this instance covers a wide range of categories, including foods merchandised to the public. As a general rule, corporations are responsible for ensuring that the products they manufacture and sell are safe for human use and consumption. When the merchandise is unsafe and causes harm to customers, the company may be held liable for damages caused by the injuries from the dangerous or defective products.
Food manufacturers owe a duty of care to consumers. When foreign objects or contagions make their way into foods that are distributed to the public, and consumers are injured because of the dangerous products, the situation may give rise to an Illinois products liability lawsuit such as the one in this case.
If you purchased any of the affected batches of Kraft’s microwavable Velveeta Shells & Cheese, do not eat them. Either throw them away or return them to your local retail store for a full refund. Additionally, if you or a loved one have been injured by a food product, seek medical attention immediately. You may also be entitled to compensation for your injury and an attorney may be able to apprise you of your rights under the law