Farmer’s markets and food poisoning outbreaks.
In 2001, a Listeria outbreak killed over 30 people. The outbreak was traced back to cantaloupe from a farm in Colorado. The outbreak affected people in several different states. According the Denver Post, the outbreak caused one farmer’s market to require that all of their growers carry liability insurance. This has been contentious, but food poisoning has been in the news a lot in recent years and it’s important to understand the implications of it.
Reporting and discovering the source.
When contaminated or poison food gets onto the market, one of the most significant factors that investigators face is finding out who’s responsible for the outbreak. This is why it’s imperative to report any cases of food poisoning to your local authorities immediately. In Dallas, the Dallas County Health and Human Services Department handles these reports.
Once the food poisoning is reported, the agencies use the information from combined reports to figure out where the problem started. Finding the source isn’t always as easy as it may seem. If all of the victims reported eating the same dish at the same restaurant, any one of the ingredients in the dish may be to blame or the restaurant itself may be to blame. If it was one of the ingredients, the farm from which that ingredient came may be to blame.
The stakes are very high in these investigations. As the over 30 people who died of the listeria outbreak in 2011 sadly demonstrate, food poisoning is potentially lethal. Depending upon the organism causing the illness, dehydration, forceful vomiting, fever, cramps, chills and other symptoms may result. If someone cannot get assistance or medical attention, they may perish from the poisoned food.
Who’s most at risk?
The very young and very old are at particularly high risk for being severely or fatally affected by food poisoning. Even healthy adults can become dangerously ill from any type of food poisoning and seeking medical attention is generally advised.
If you were affected by food poisoning, there may have been negligence involved. Negligence can include improper sanitation, letting unapproved chemicals or contaminants get into food and other issues. Speaking to a product liability attorney will give you all the information you need. If you were harmed physically, financially or both, or if you lost someone due to food poisoning, contact an attorney about filing a lawsuit against the party responsible for putting the contaminated food onto the market.