Articles Posted in Food Poisoning

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One of the most effective ways to prevent food poisoning is to make sure too keep all food properly refrigerated.  When food is sitting out on the counter or on a hot picnic table, it is in what is known as the danger zone between 40 degrees and 140 degrees Fahrenheit.  Basically, once food is out of the oven and not in the refrigerator, bacteria can be growing, and the longer it stays in that temperature, the more dangerous it will become.

soup-2-1329592As discussed in a recent article from WTOP Health News, one in six people in the United States will become sick from poisoning each year.  This shows how high your risk is, and that risk only gets worse in the summer. The reason for this is because with the intense heat and people eating outdoors more often, bacteria will form a lot more quickly than it will indoors or at other times in the year. Continue reading

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According to a recent report from the Braintree Patch, a local family is suing a national grocery store owner and a cattle ranch in Missouri after their son died after ingesting a powerful strain of E. coli bacteria. The family is alleging their son became sick from eating tainted ground beef sold at the Braintree store.

grillin-burgers-858671-m.jpgThis grass-fed beef was produced from cattle raised at the Missouri ranch and sold at the local market. After this incident, the retailer issued a recall of all ground beef due to possible E. coli contamination.

Storeowners have issued a statement expressing their condolences to the family for the tragic loss of their son, but they deny any liability for the incident, claiming investigations did not show any link to their business. The ranch owners also issued statements saying their testing has conclusively established the contaminated meat did not come from their ranch.
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Most people with a severe nut allergy know from a very young age that they must be extremely cautious about any and all foods they consume and products they use, as even miniscule contact could be fatal.
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However, our Boston personal injury lawyers know that all too often, problems arise when companies fail to properly note every ingredient in their products. Alternatively, sometimes food manufacturers or restaurants aren’t careful in their food preparation, causing cross-contamination to occur.

Even in cases where an individual may not have died from the incident, taking the company to court may help prevent such a situation from ever occurring there again.

Sadly, these kinds of errors happen all the time.

For evidence of this, just peruse the U.S. Food & Drug Administration’s recent list of recalled food products. On March 1, the agency recalled some 20 lots of cereal produced by the California-based Food for Life because there were almonds in the cereal that weren’t listed as an ingredient on the box. Specifically, the Original, Golden Flax and Cinnamon Raisin varieties were all affected. There haven’t been any illnesses reported to date, but affected individuals may not have realized what made them sick – as they wouldn’t have suspected cereal that didn’t have nuts listed as an ingredient. The boxes were distributed between late last November and early February.

And then just last month, the FDA recalled numerous lots of snack mixes produced in Florida for undeclared peanuts.

Other products the agency has recently recalled for undeclared nuts include:

  • Brownie mix;
  • Coffee;
  • Fruit cereal;
  • Cookies;
  • Candy;
  • Granola bars;
  • Fruit bars;
  • Ice cream bars;
  • Pasta;
  • Pies;
  • Spreads;
  • Chocolate protein drinks;
  • Popcorn.

Severe nut allergies are basically the body’s overactive immune response triggered by the allergen. People suffering an episode may have trouble breathing, plummeting blood pressure or an increased pulse rate due to shock.

It’s estimated that approximately 200 people in the U.S. die every year due to nut allergies, with about 60 percent of those caused by peanuts. Tree nuts, meanwhile, are another common allergy, meaning those individuals must steer clear of things like almonds, cashews, chestnuts, hazelnuts, macadamia nuts, pecans, pine nuts, walnuts and pistachios.

The problem is that these foods, and their derivatives, are found in so many different products. Those with allergies know they have to carefully screen labels and grill their restaurant servers. But these entities have a responsibility to know what is in the product and to inform consumers.

Undeclared nuts are a top concern to the FDA, due to the fact that they can potentially be life-threatening. Other kinds of undeclared ingredients that are on the agency’s top list of inspection priorities for the same reason are: milk and milk by products, eggs, fish and shell fish, soy and wheat.

The most common offenders, according to the FDA, are bakeries, candy manufacturers and ice cream manufacturers.

Other food items in which you might not readily expect to find nuts include: chilis and soups, breads, honey, vegetarian burgers, pasta sauces, marinades and salad dressings.
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Your child’s baby formula could contain a number of dangerous molds, federal health regulators are saying. According to MSNBC, says this dangerous food has also been given to schools around the country, potentially causing food poisoning in Massachusetts and elsewhere.
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Officials from the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) recently sent a warning letter to Snokist Growers of Yakima, Wash., claiming that the food providers were unable to make sure that their fruit puree and applesauce was reconditioned for consumption. This letter came after the Administration made the discovery of several moldy products.

Our Boston personal injury attorneys understand that earlier this year, there were several Snokist products recalled after school-aged children got sick because of eating the company’s applesauce. Now, the FDA is accusing Snokist of failing to properly address these problems. In the earlier recall, officials discovered that some of the company’s bagged fruit were not sealed and sterilized. Instead, the fruit bags were broken open and contained a number of dangerous molds.

“Your firm reprocesses moldy applesauce product … using a method that is not effective against all toxic metabolites,” state that latter from the FDA letter. “Several foodborne molds may be hazardous to human health.”

The most recent letter was sent to Snokist’s president, Jimmie L. Davis, late in October.

The letter also cited eight separate events in which the company had used the moldy food and distributed it to consumers in 2010. According to the initial inspections, officials discovered 13 times where the moldy food had been packaged for consumers from January of 2008 to May of 2011.

The company admitted to “reworking” some of the moldy food into other products for future use, but it only accounted for a fraction of the company’s products. They admit to heat-treating the reprocessed food to kill toxins. The FDA does not allow contaminated food to be combined with quality food just to meet safety standards.

A company spokesperson says that the head-treating process is beyond adequate to get the product to a commercially sterile state. The company is not also testing Patilin, which is a toxin that is commonly produced by the mold found in rotting fruit.

The FDA isn’t happy with the testing though, saying it’s not enough. The company has also been asked to prove that it’s testing for all dangerous microbes.

It is okay for companies to recondition food for consumption, but the products have to be tested and proven to be completely free of contamination, according the FDA.

Molds found in the Snokist products:

-Two kinds of Pennicillium.

-Fusarium.

-Alternaria
Repackaged food was in:

-15-ounce cans.

-300-gallon bags.

106-ounce-cans.

-4.2-ounce, single-serve cups.

When the inspection was conducted and the moldy food was discovered, the FDA provided the company with six steps to correct the problem. The company admitted to only implementing two.

More than 2 million cases of this fruit were sold in 2010. With the 50,000 tons of processed fruit, the company made more than $50 million.
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The size of the nation’s massive egg recall has tripled to 380 million eggs as hundreds of victims have been sickened by salmonella, CNN reports.

Massachusetts food poisoning cases can be very serious, even life threatening. As our Boston injury lawyers have reported, an estimated 325,000 people are hospitalized each year for food poisoning and 5,000 die as a result.
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The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention reports that 76 million cases will be reported each year — affecting 1 in every 4 consumers. When a company’s negligence results in the serious injury or death of a consumer, a personal injury or wrongful death suit may result.

In the last three months, nearly 2,000 cases of Salmonella have been reported. The CDC reports that hundreds more have likely become ill from consuming tainted eggs. More cases are expected because the CDC does not yet have reports after July 17 because of the lag in data collection.

The Food and Drug Administration is calling it one of the largest egg recalls in history as Wright County Egg of Galt, Iowa has increased the size of the recall to 380 million eggs.

On July 9, the FDA announced new rules for large-scale egg producers, but by then the outbreak had already started. Like the deadly peanut butter recall several years ago, it is again apparent that the multi-billion dollar federal agencies charged with protecting consumers cannot always be relied upon to do so.

Meanwhile, safety advocates contend that salmonella outbreaks are on the rise across the country. Symptoms generally begin within 12 to 72 hours and include diarrhea, fever and abdominal pain. Vomiting, headache and muscle pain may also occur. Elderly patients, infants and those with compromised immune symptoms are at increased risk of medical complications, which can be life threatening.
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