Food recalls can be confusing. Just because an item is recalled isn’t necessarily a cause for concern. For example, recently, some Oreos were recalled because their labeling failed to mention they may contain milk. This should be a cause of concern for those with milk allergies, however, for most Americans, consuming those Oreos should be fine. Undeclared allergens have been a popular point of recall for many items this month, including cookies, juices, taco seasoning, and more.
Other recalls, on the other hand, can be caused because of the presence of deadly bacteria in packaged foods. Recently recalled foods include frozen fruits, frozen vegetables, cheese, ice cream, and beef that may possibly be tainted with listeria, hepatitis A, or E. coli.
And that’s just October.
Every couple of days, a new recall is announced. Most don’t make it to the evening news until there are dire consequences.
Food Poisoning Can Cause Severe Injury
When you think of food poisoning, you probably just think of being sick to your stomach for a few days. And while that’s generally the best case scenario, food poisoning can actually be very dangerous. Depending on the cause of food poisoning, those who eat contaminated foods may be hospitalized with pneumonia, be paralyzed (botulism), or even be killed because of dangerous bacteria or viruses.
Causes of Food Poisoning
Most food poisoning is caused by undercooked food or by poor preparation procedures like failing to wash hands before handling food or leaving food out too long before serving or eating. Food that comes in contact with raw food or that is eaten with dirty or contaminated utensils is also at risk. Food that has been improperly stored or packaged or whose packaging has been damaged may also be contaminated.
The common viruses and bacteria that cause food poisoning include:
- Campylobacter, commonly found on raw chicken
- Salmonella, which kills approximately 380 people a year
- Clostridium botulinum, which causes botulism
- E. coli
- Hepatitis A
Reporting Food Poisoning
If you believe you’ve been affected by food poisoning because of a South Carolina restaurant or from milk, ice cream, or a bottled beverage, the South Carolina Department of Health and Environmental Control asks that you make a report on their site. This can help find the cause of a potential outbreak and protect others from becoming sick. The organization also provides information on how to save uneaten food for investigation.
Consulting with a Myrtle Beach Food Poisoning Lawyer
If you’ve been sickened because of someone else’s negligence, speaking with a Myrtle Beach food poisoning lawyer can help you better understand your legal options.
Food poisoning can have severe consequences and may even cause death. Those who sell and distribute food products have a unique responsibility to provide the public with items that are safe for consumption. When poor handling or tampering results in contamination, they should be held liable.
If a bout of food poisoning has forced you to incur medical debt or has otherwise injured you, consult with a Myrtle Beach food poisoning lawyer. We can help you discover who is liable for your foodborne illness and help you seek compensation.