Recall On Organic Salad Calls Into Question Food Handler Safety In The Southeast
The United States Food and Drug Administration (FDA) announced a food recall on packaged salads sold in the southeast. The announcement came on April 8, 2017, indicating that consumers in Florida who purchased "Organic Marketside Express Salad" distributed by Fresh Express found a bat in a bag of salad. The consumers bought the bag of salad from a Walmart store. Fresh Express distributed the potentially contaminated salad to Walmart stores only in the Southeast. Walmart reportedly worked quickly to remove all of the potentially contaminated product from its shelves.
The official press release issued by the FDA described the contaminate as "extraneous animal matter." News reports from various sources stated the "extraneous animal matter" was indeed a small bat that was in the package of salad. Fresh Express recalled all of the salads distributed from the same production time. The items subject to the recall had a "best-if-used-by date of April 14, 2017." Fresh Express believes this is an isolated incident.
The unfortunate consumers were shocked by their discovery. According to the USAToday, the consumers started eating the salad and then made the grisly discovery. The bat had begun to decompose in the bag. Alertly, the consumers sent the bat for examination due to the threat of a rabies infection. Medical personnel were unable to determine if the bat had rabies due to its advanced decomposed state. Consequently, the people who started eating the salad must undergo observation and preventative measures to protect against a rabies infection. The United States Center for Disease Control (CDC) is examining the bat to determine the potential of infection.
Food poisoning causes numerous injuries and deaths annually. According to the CDC, one out of every six people in the United States acquires food poisoning annually. That figure amounts to 48 million people. These are only estimates because not every case of food poisoning is reported. However, the CDC has determined that 128,000 people are hospitalized, and 3,000 people die from eating contaminated food each year.
The CDC breaks down food poisoning causes into two generalized categories. One type is called pathogens, and the other category is unspecified causes. The CDC has identified 31 known pathogens suspected to cause food poisoning. The known pathogens cause 9.4 million cases of food poisoning each year. The remaining 38.4 million annual cases fall into the latter category. The known pathogens cause 44% all food poisoning deaths each year.
Five of the 31 identified pathogens cause 91% of all foodborne illnesses. Those five are:
- Nontyphoidal Salmonella,
- Clostridium perfringens,
- Campylobacter spp., and
- Staphylococcus aureus.
Meanwhile, bacterial strains such as e. Coli, Listeria, and Toxoplasma gondii contribute to numerous hospitalizations and deaths annually.
Food poisoning is preventable. Food handlers must thoroughly wash their hands with soap and water after every trip to the bathroom. They must use clean utensils as well. Also, an important component of food preparation is separating food products that may cross-contaminate other foods. Furthermore, food should be cooked promptly, and the unused portions chilled to prevent the spread of foodborne contaminants. Furthermore, cooking food completely will help stop the spread of bacteria known to cause food poisoning.
If you or a loved one suffered food poisoning that resulted in hospitalization or death after eating contaminated food in a restaurant or from another source, you might be eligible to receive financial compensation. Speaking with an Atlanta products liability attorney will help you determine what rights you may have.
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If you have been injured by any contaminated food product, call Montlick & Associates, Attorneys at Law for your free consultation today. Montlick & Associates has been representing those who suffer serious injuries throughout all of Georgia and in the Southeast for over 39 years, including but not limited to Albany, Athens, Atlanta, Augusta, Columbus, Gainesville, Macon, Marietta, Rome, Roswell, Savannah, Smyrna, Valdosta, Warner Robins and all smaller cities and rural areas in the state.
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