Food For Thought

Personal injury and foodborne illness

In February, the Pennsylvania Department of Health reported an outbreak of campylobacteriosis related to consumption of raw milk from a Franklin County organic dairy farm.  At least 80 people, ranging in age from two to 74, were sickened in four states, including five people in Maryland.

An intestinal illness, campylobacteriosis is caused by the bacteria Campylobacter, considered the second leading cause of food-related illness in the United States by the U.S. Department of Agriculture.

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) recently reported dairy-related illness is 150 times more likely from unpasteurized raw milk products than in pasteurized products.  Over a 13-year span, the CDC concludes states with legalized sales of raw milk were twice as likely to suffer dairy-related disease outbreaks.

These incidents and research capture only a small portion of illness and injury inflicted on unsuspecting consumers by poorly processed or contaminated food.  In 2011, a Listeriosis outbreak in whole cantaloupes killed 30 people and sickened 146, including a pregnant woman who miscarried.

In January 2011, President Obama signed into law the Food Safety Modernization Act (FSMA), a measure aimed at preventing as well as responding to food supply contamination.  In that same year, the roll call of recalls continued—tomatoes, ground beef, turkey, salad—and the list and the illnesses go on.

If sickened through consumption of contaminated or ill-prepared food, call us for legal help recovering medical expenses and other losses.  Eating smart is not supposed to mean being aware of the latest food recall.

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