Girardi | Keese

Product defects in California leaving people in the hospital

Most people buy products, including food, expecting them to be safe and healthy. Customers should not have to worry about whether every product is dangerous to their health as they contemplate whether they should buy it. Unfortunately, sometimes recalls, product defects or disease outbreaks, like a recent one in California, can cause people to be more cautious about their purchases.

The danger of salmonella in certain food products is rather well known. However, there are steps that can be taken to reduce the risk of getting this disease, unless a company's product is responsible. A recent outbreak of salmonella that was caused by Foster Farms chicken appears to have resulted in the illness of approximately 430 people.

The specific strain of salmonella contains a factor that makes treatment more complicated than usual. It is estimated that 40 percent of the victims have had to spend time in the hospital and over 10 percent have acquired blood infections. Although three specific Foster Farms plants in California are said to be responsible for causing this outbreak, no recalls were made, and the plants were not shut down. However, when the USDA threatened the shut-down of the plants, the company declared it would enhance their safety measures.

The USDA has made some efforts in stricter testing for salmonella in these California plants, but the results of these tests and other steps being taken have not been released. The victims of this salmonella outbreak can file civil claims to assist them with their unexpected medical bills resulting from their time in the hospital. Product defects are not something to be taken lightly when people are getting sick, injured or dying because of them.

Source: oregonlive.com, More people sickened in salmonella outbreak traced to Foster Farms chicken, Lynne Terry, Jan. 17, 2014

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