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Goldberg & Weigand, LLP
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Cape Cod Personal Injury Blog

Is your lunch making you sick?

Is your lunch making you sick?  Blue Bell Ice Cream, a Texas-based maker of frozen snacks including ice cream, frozen yogurt, and sherbet, recently announced recalls for many of its products.  The federal Food and Drug Administration is investigating reports that the Blue Bell products involved contained listeria.

Blue Bell is the latest company to announce potential contamination of its food.  But it is hardly the only one.

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) reported that around 48 million Americans -- one in six -- become ill from food-based bacteria or microbes every year.  Around 3,000 people die of illnesses caused by contaminated food.  Food-borne diseases cost the U.S. economy more than $5 billion annually in medical expenses and missed productivity, according to The National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases.  The FDA keeps an online list of all outbreaks it is currently investigating, at http://www.fda.gov/Food/RecallsOutbreaksEmergencies/Outbreaks/default.htm

The CDC recommends that consumers take precautions with all food, to minimize the risk of food poisoning:

  • Cook meat, poultry and eggs thoroughly, using a food thermometer to measure the internal temperature of meat;
  • Avoid cross-contaminating foods by washing hands, utensils, and cutting boards after they have been in contact with raw meat or poultry, and before they touch other food;
  • Refrigerate leftovers promptly;
  • Wash produce, discarding the outermost parts of leafy plants like lettuce or cabbage and rinsing fresh fruit or vegetables under running tap water to remove dirt and bacteria;
  • Report suspected foodborne illnesses to your local health department.  Even if you don't feel sick enough to go to the hospital, reporting your illness and the nature of the contaminated food can help the authorities protect more vulnerable people from getting sick.

Food manufacturers and distributors are required to issue recalls when they discover problems with their products.  If you consumed spoiled food and became sick, you may have a legal claim for your illness or injuries.  To determine whether you have a claim, you should consult a personal injury attorney.

The personal injury lawyers at Goldberg & Weigand LLP can discuss your claim with you.  Free professional consultation is available 24 hours per day.

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