Ground Beef Products Recalled For Possible E. Coli Contamination

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Ground Beef RecallRanchers Legacy Meat Company is recalling 1,200 pounds of ground beef products that may have been contaminated with E. coli O157:H7, according to an alert issued by the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s Food Safety and Inspection Service.

Officials say the products included in the recall are packaged in plastic sealed packets and were produced on November 19, 2014.

These products were shipped nationwide to retailers. USDA officials discovered the contamination during a routine inspection.

So far, there have been no reports of illnesses associated with these products.

Coli Symptoms

Coli O157:H7 is a potentially deadly bacterium that can cause dehydration, bloody diarrhea and abdominal cramps two to eight days after exposure to the organism.

While a number of people recover within a week, some develop a type of kidney failure called hemolytic uremic syndrome (HUS). This can occur in all age groups, but is most common in children under 5 and older adults.

Symptoms of HUS include easy bruising, pallor and decreased urine output.

Each year, about 48 million Americans, roughly one in six people in the United States, suffer from food-borne illnesses such as norovirus, E. coli, salmonella and listeria, to mention a few.

Eating or drinking a contaminated food or beverage can cause a foodborne illness. A foodborne disease outbreak occurs when two or more people get the same illness from the same contaminated food or drink.

Preventing E. coli Infections

There are several steps you can take to prevent E. coli infections:

  • Cook meats thoroughly. Ground beef and meat that has been needle-tenderized should be cooked to a temperature of at least 160°F (70?C). Use a thermometer to verify the temperature. The color of the meat is not a reliable indicator of how thoroughly it has been cooked.
  • Wash your hands thoroughly after using the bathroom, changing diapers, and before preparing or eating food.
  • Practice proper hygiene, especially good hand washing.
  • Prevent cross-contamination in food preparation areas by thoroughly washing hands, counters, cutting boards, and utensils after they touch raw meat.

If you have suffered food poisoning, please isolate the food that made you sick so that it can be tested for pathogens. Get medical attention immediately and report your illness to a local health care agency.

Contact an experienced California personal injury lawyer who has successfully handled food poisoning cases to better understand your legal rights and options.

E. Coli-Tainted Celery Linked To California Farm

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Ecoli Celery OutbreakAn outbreak of E. coli in Minnesota has been linked to celery grown in Gonzales, California.

According to a news report in The Californian, 57 people were sickened and nine were hospitalized as a result of this outbreak. The victims were members of a band of the Lake Superior Chippewa called Fond du Lac.

All victims had consumed potato salad that included celery and onions tainted with E. coli bacteria. Cases were also identified at event where the potato salad was not served but celery was.

The celery has been tracked to a field near a defunct dairy operation near Gonzales.

The caterer common to all five Fond du Lac events between July 1 and July 17 on the reservation was Jim-N-Joe’s Northland Katering that had purchased the celery from Upper Lakes Foods Inc.

The celery was tracked back to Matignoni Ranch Block 5c outside Gonzales.

Potential Litigation

The food poisoning victims have said they will file a lawsuit against the caterer, but not the grower because there is insufficient evidence. Soil samples from the farm where the celery was grown did not show the presence of the pathogen. However, attorneys for the plaintiffs have said that may change as discovery proceeds and if new evidence comes up.

An investigation also showed that the tainted celery sickened people in Wisconsin, Alabama, Illinois, Indiana and Ohio. The Minnesota Department of Health has concluded that the contaminated celery is the “most likely vehicle of transmission.

Although the source of the contamination has not identified, it is still plausible that the celery may have been contaminated during production, officials said.

Compensation for Victims

E.coli infections can have devastating consequences. The most common symptoms are nausea, bloody diarrhea, abdominal cramps and vomiting. In severe cases, E.coli infections could also result in kidney damage.

Victims of food poisoning can seek compensation for damages against the food producer, server, or anyone else involved in the manufacturing process whose negligence may have caused the contamination.

Some of the damages victims can seek in such cases include medical expenses, lost wages, hospitalization costs, pain and suffering and emotional distress.

Victims would be well advised to contact an experienced California personal injury lawyer who has successfully handled food poisoning cases.

The best personal injury law firms like Bisnar Chase will always offer a free consultation and comprehensive case evaluation to injured victims and their families.

Foster Farms Chicken Recalled For Listeria Contamination

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Foster Farms Listeria RecallFoster Farms has recalled nearly 40,000 pounds of frozen, pre-cooked chicken for potential listeria contamination.

According to a news report in the Los Angeles Times, the recall is for Chicken Breast Grilled Strops sold in 3.5-pound resealable bags, produced in the company’s Louisiana plant and shipped to retailers in California, Texas, Utah and Washington.

The affected product bears the processing plant number, P33901 and a “best by” date of Aug. 5, 2015. Officials with the U.S. Department of Agriculture say the problem was discovered during the company’s routine in-plant inspection.

While some of the product was set aside and held, the products included in the recall were inadvertently shipped to the retailers. So far, no reports of illnesses associated with consumption of these products has been reported.

This recall comes only two months after a salmonella outbreak linked to Central California-based Foster Farms was declared over.

Listeria Dangers

Listeria infection or listeriosis can prove lethal. Listeria primarily affects the elderly, newborns, pregnant women and those with compromised immune systems. Symptoms of listeria food poisoning include fever, muscle pain, headache, stiff neck, confusion, loss of balance and other gastrointestinal problems.

The U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention estimates that about 1,600 illnesses and 260 deaths occur due to listeriosis annually in the United States. The largest listeriosis outbreak in U.S. history occurred in 2011, when 147 illnesses, 33 deaths, and one miscarriage occurred among residents of 28 states. The outbreak was associated with consumption of cantaloupe from a single farm.

If You Have Been Affected

If you have suffered any type of food poisoning, it is important that you get prompt medical attention. Chart your intake and make a note of everything you consumed over the last three or four days. When you see your doctor, insist on doing diagnostic tests for food-borne illnesses, especially if you suspect it. Keep a journal and document all your losses. File a complaint with the local health agency.

Contact an experienced California personal injury attorney who will ensure that their your legal rights and best interests are protected. Food manufacturers and establishments such as restaurants can be held accountable for negligent food processing or serving.

Victims can seek damages for losses such as medical expenses, lost wages and pain and suffering. The best personal injury law firms like Bisnar Chase will always offer free consultations and comprehensive case evaluations to injured victims and their families.

Chicken Caesar Salad Kits Recalled For Listeria Contamination

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ChickenAPPA Fine Foods, a Corona-based company, is recalling about 92,657 pounds of fully-cooked chicken Caesar salad kit products due to concerns about possible Listeria monocytogenes contamination.

According to a consumer alert issued by the U.S. Department of Agriculture, the salad kits were shipped nationwide to Sam’s Club stores nationwide. So far, there have been two confirmed listeriosis cases as a result of these recalled products.

Tests by Sam’s Club showed that the bacterial contamination was in the chicken in the salad kits. Anyone who has purchased these salad kits is asked to return them to the store for a complete refund.

Listeria Dangers

Eating food contaminated with listeria can cause listeriosis, a serious infection that primarily affects older adults, pregnant women, their newborns and those with weakened immune systems. Listeriosis can cause fever, muscle aches, headaches, stiff neck, confusion, loss of balance and convulsions, sometimes preceded by diarrhea or other gastrointestinal symptoms.

In pregnant women, the infection can cause miscarriages, stillbirths, premature delivery or life-threatening infection in the newborn. In addition, these infections could prove fatal for older adults or those with weakened immune systems.

Preventing Listeriosis

There are several steps you can take to prevent listeriosis:

  • Rinse raw produce such as fruits and vegetables, thoroughly under running tap water before eating, cutting or cooking. Produce should be washed even if it will be peeled.
  • Separate uncooked meats and poultry from vegetables, cooked foods and ready-to-eat foods.
  • Wash hands, countertops, knives and cutting boards after handling and preparing uncooked foods.
  • Listeria bacteria can grow in foods in the refrigerator. Use an appliance thermometer such as a refrigerator thermometer to check the temperature in your refrigerator. The refrigerator should be 40°F or lower and the freezer 0°F or lower.
  • Thoroughly cook raw food from animal sources, such as beef, pork, or poultry to a safe internal temperature.

 If You Have Suffered Food Poisoning

If you have become ill as a result of eating contaminated food, it is important that you isolate the food and store it separately so it can be tested for pathogens in a lab. It is also important that you get prompt medical treatment for the infection. Food manufacturers are required to produce foods that are safe for consumers.

If you have suffered health consequences as a result of contaminated, please contact an experienced California personal injury attorney at (800) 561-4887 who has successfully handled similar cases to ensure that your legal rights and best interests are protected.

Peanut & Almond Butter Products Recalled For Salmonella Contamination

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RecallsA unit of Hain Celestial Group Inc. is recalling some peanut and almond butter products because of possible salmonella contamination.

According to a news report in The Associated Press, so far, there have been reports of four illnesses that may be related to the nut butters that were sold under the brand names Arrowhead Mills peanut butters and MaraNatha almond and peanut butters.

Also being recalled were some lots of private label almond butter from grocers Whole Foods, Trader Joe’s, Kroger and Safeway. In California Kroger owns Ralphs stores and Safeway owns the Vons chain.

Approximately 45 production lots have been affected. The products have been sold in the United States as well as the Dominican Republic, Hong Kong and the United Arab Emirates. The contamination surfaced after routine testing by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA). FDA officials have said they do not know how many jars of nut butters were recalled.

Salmonella Dangers

There have been a number of salmonella outbreaks in the United States recently including infected peanut butter that made more than 700 people ill in 2008 and 2009. We’ve also seen reports of Foster Farms chicken that has been linked to salmonella infections that have sickened more than 500 people nationwide.

The most common symptoms of salmonella include nausea, vomiting, diarrhea and abdominal pain. These symptoms typically surface within one to three days of exposure and may last about a week. The risk of infection is particularly high for young children, the elderly and those with compromised or weakened immune systems.

Steps Food Poisoning Victims Can Take

If you have suffered food poisoning, make sure you get prompt medical attention. Demand that diagnostic tests be conducted to determine what type of pathogen caused your illness. Isolate and preserve the food that made you sick in a baggy so it can be examined and analyzed in a laboratory. Keep track of all your expenses and losses.

Injured victims of food poisoning can seek compensation for damages including medical expenses, lost wages, hospitalization, diagnostic tests, pain and suffering and emotional distress. Victims would also be well advised to contact an attorney who has experience handling food poisoning cases. The best personal injury law firms will always offer free consultations and case evaluations to victims and their families.

Orange County Company Recalls Food Due To Botulism Fears

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Food Product RecallA San Clemente-based company is recalling several products due to food poisoning concerns.

According to a news report in The Orange County Register, California Department of Public Health officials released a consumer alert for possible contamination of San Clemente-based VR Green Farms products after determining that two botulism infection cases may be tied to the company’s pine nut basil pesto.

The VR Green Farms products affected by the recall include pine nut basil pesto, pickled farm mix, Old World tomato sauce, sun-dried tomatoes in olive oil, Tuscan grilling sauce and pasta sauce.

The products are packaged in mason-style glass jars and are sold at VR Green Farm stands in San Clemente and online. Consumers who have these products at home are asked to dispose them right away. Health officials also caution that consumers should use gloves when handling the products and that they should be discarded in double-bagged trash cans.

Those handling this contaminated food are also advised to wash their hands with soap and water after discarding the products. If you have been affected, please contact the state Health Department at 800-495-3232.

What is Botulism?

According to the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), botulism is a rare but serious paralytic illness caused by a nerve toxin that is produced by the bacterium, Clostridium botulinum. Foodborne botulism is caused by eating foods that contain the botulinum toxin.

In the United States, an average of 145 botulism cases are reported each year out of which about 15 percent are foodborne. Common symptoms of botulism include double vision, blurred vision, droopy eyelids, slurred speech, difficulty swallowing, dry mouth, and muscle weakness.

Protecting Your Rights

If you have suffered health consequences as a result of botulism or any other type of food poisoning, please remember that you have rights.

Affected victims can file a personal injury claim against the food manufacturer of damages including medical expenses, lost wages, diagnostic costs, pain and suffering and emotional distress.

If you have consumed contaminated food, please preserve the food and isolate it so it can be tested in a laboratory for the presence of bacteria or other pathogens. File a report with your local health agency and contact an experienced Orange County personal injury lawyer who has successfully handled food poisoning cases to obtain more information about pursuing your legal rights.

Listeria Death in California Leads to Cheese Recall

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Roos Foods has recalled 16 varieties of cheese after some of its brands were linked to food poisoning cases including one death in California. According to a CBS Los Angeles news report, the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) states that the cheeses said to be contaminated with listeria bacteria were produced by Roos Foods of Kenton, Delaware, and are linked to a listeria outbreak. The recalled products include the company’s Mexicana, Amigo, Santa Rosa De Lima, Suyapa, La Chapina and La Purisima Crema Nica brands.

Officials say there was one death linked to the listeria outbreak in California and seven illnesses in Maryland. Five of the illnesses, including two mother-newborn pairs and a newborn, were related to pregnancy. Also seven of the eight patients were hospitalized and all illnesses were reported between Aug. 1 and Nov. 27. The products were distributed in Maryland, Virginia and the District of Columbia. A full list of brand names and varieties can be found on the Food and Drug Administration’s website. More

Salmonella Warning Causes Protien Bar Recall

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The U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) issuing a consumer alert warning against eating certain ProtiDiet High Protein Chocolate Dream bars, which may possibly be contaminated with salmonella bacteria. According to a news report in the Los Angeles Times, the manufacturer, Pro-Amino International Inc., has recalled the protein bars, which are sold in packages of seven.

These products have been recalled in several states including California, as well as online. Consumers are urged not to eat these potentially contaminated bars and either throw them away or return to the seller. So far, the FDA says no illnesses have been reported as a result of these products.

Salmonella Statistics and Symptoms

According to the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), between January 1, 2009 and December 31, 2010, public health departments nationwide documented 1,527 food poisoning outbreaks resulting in 23 deaths, 1,184 hospitalizations and 29,444 illnesses. Salmonella accounted for 30 percent of these outbreaks and 49 percent of food-borne illness related hospitalizations.

Salmonella is one of the most common food-borne illnesses. Symptoms of salmonella poisoning include diarrhea, vomiting, nausea, painful abdominal cramping and fever. Symptoms may develop 12 to 72 hours after the infection and the illness usually lasts four to seven days. Most people recover without treatment, but in some cases the diarrhea and dehydration may be so severe that hospitalization may become necessary. Infants, the elderly and those with impaired immune systems are at highest risk.

Consumers’ Rights

Anyone who has been sickened by a contaminated or defective product has legal rights. Product manufacturers, including food producers, have a duty and responsibility to provide clean and safe products for consumers.

Victims of food poisoning can seek compensation for medical expenses, loss of wages, hospitalization, diagnostic tests, pain and suffering and emotional distress. An experienced California personal injury attorney who has successfully handled food poisoning cases will be able to advise victims regarding their legal rights and options. If you have been sickened by a contaminated food product, please isolate the product so it can be tested in a laboratory and report your illness to the local healthcare agency.

FDA Focuses on “Message Fatigue” About Food-Borne Illnesses

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February 18, 2013—Washington, D. C.—According to an article in MedPage Today, the U.S. Food and Drug Administration is forming a panel to discuss the problem of “message fatigue” among the populace about food safety.

Message fatigue occurs when the public is bombarded with messages about food safety and begins to ignore the warnings. Because communication is so widespread and instant, the average American may hear several stories a week about a new outbreak of disease related to contaminated food. At first, people are frightened by these messages as indicated by purchasing patterns at grocery stores and restaurants. Eventually, however, when people hear numerous messages about food-borne illness but see no evidence of these diseases affecting them, they stop listening to the warnings. food safety

The FDA’s Risk Communication Advisory Committee is set to address the communication challenges that exist when people receive too much information about various dangers related to food. A 2009 survey conducted by two of the committee’s participants showed that Americans are “highly aware” of recent salmonella outbreaks with 93 percent being aware of the 2009 peanut butter recall and 81 percent aware of the ground beef recall. However, purchases of ground beef and peanut butter have once again leveled, possibly indicating that people have stopped worrying about the safety of these particular foods.

Another problem worrying the committee is how to encourage people to follow through with recall warnings. When a food is recalled, many people fail to look on their shelves or in their freezers to see if they have any of the contaminated food. Some of this may be due to distrust of research and researchers in general, but most of it probably has to do with message fatigue. People simply stop listening to the warnings, having heard so many of them in a short period of time.

Media attention tends to focus on national issues in which there are fatalities or severe outbreaks of illness. Many people do not realize that there are continual local outbreaks affecting everything from cantaloupe to jalapeno peppers to tuna fish simply because the media does not focus on these outbreaks unless there is some “newsworthy” national interest.

One of the focuses of the group is to explore the possibility of using social media to get the message out about local outbreaks of salmonella and other food-borne diseases. Facebook, Twitter and other social media platforms are now able to reach a huge number of people in a short time. By utilizing these methods, the FDA hopes to reach people with a targeted message rather than the “national scares” that seem to happen every other week, numbing potential victims to the dangers of food-borne illness outbreaks.

Victims of food-borne illnesses such as salmonella have rights under the law to collect damages if they have been sold tainted food by a store or restaurant. A personal injury attorney can help these victims recover damages for their medical bills, pain and suffering, and other costs.

Rudi’s Bakery Recall of Organic Breads

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October 29, 2012—Los Angeles, California—The Federal Food and Drug Administration has issued a voluntary product withdrawal from Rudi’s Organic Bakery of certain bread products that the company states may contain metal contaminants.

According to the recall announcement, “metallic foreign objects” may be in the sealed products or packaging of Rudi’s Organic Bakery Multigrain Oat Bread, Rudi’s Organic Bakery Colorado Cracked Wheat Bread, and Rudi’s Organic Bakery Cinnamon Raisin Bread.  The company has asked that consumers who have these products cease using them immediately and return them to the store for a full refund.  The company has also asked that stores return any supplies they may have on their shelves.  The assumption is that the “metallic” objects could pose a choking or poisoning hazard if ingested.

Why Does The FDA Sponsor Voluntary Recalls?

Voluntary recalls are not ordered by government agencies.  Instead, they are voluntarily issued by manufacturers who become aware of a problem with a product.  The FDA and other government agencies provide recall awareness as a service to these companies who are attempting to spread the word about a defective product because it is easier for the agencies to get the word to a large number of potential victims.

The FDA and other government agencies also issue non-voluntary recalls when companies refuse to cooperate.  However, this is a major step and the government does not use this tactic unless there is a very serious problem with a product or a very good reason to warn the public about danger from using a particular item.

What Are The Liability Issues for Defective Products?

Companies are liable for defective products they sell to the public.  If those products cause death, illness, or injury, the companies may have to pay damages to the victims who are affected.

For this reason, companies are quick to recall products if there is a hint that the product may cause harm to consumers.  However, this does not relieve the company from the responsibility of paying for damages that may already have been caused by the defective product lawsuit.  Recalls are not a way of avoiding liability; they are an attempt to limit a company’s exposure to liability that has already occurred.

Product defect attorneys  can help a victim who has suffered from some type of product defect, whether it is contaminated food, defective drugs with dangerous side effects, or a power tool that has caused injury.

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