Major breakfast food retailer Kellogg’s has issued a voluntary recall that covers 10,000 cases of its famous Eggo waffle products over concerns that they are contaminated with listeria. The contaminated cases reached an estimated 25 states in the U.S. Listeria is a very dangerous foodborne illness pathogen that can lead to severe health problems and even death, especially if the victim is a child, elderly individual, or person with a compromised immune system. Pregnant women may also experience a miscarriage or stillbirth if they contract listeria while pregnant. In otherwise healthy persons, listeria can lead to severe, flu-like symptoms, including headaches, nausea, stomach pain, vomiting, high fever, stiffness, and diarrhea.
Although the company has not received any reports indicating that an individual has become ill as a result of consuming a contaminated waffle, the risk is still very serious. Kellogg is asking consumers who may have purchased an affected package to return it immediately and to refrain from consuming its contents.
There have been a number of multi-state food-borne illness outbreaks involving listeria this year, including frozen vegetables, raw milk, packaged salads, and citrus. For the Centers for Diseases Control to formally recognize an outbreak, there must be two or more individuals who manifest disease-specific symptoms as a result of consuming the same drink or food item that has been contaminated. The CDC will then investigate the outbreak to determine its source and underlying cause.
Restaurants and food manufacturers owe consumers a duty to handle and prepare food products with reasonable care and to take steps to prevent contamination. This duty extends to everyone in the food production chain, from farmworkers all the way to servers at restaurants. Most states recognize a doctrine called negligence per se. This doctrine holds that the duty of care encompasses any regulations or laws that may apply to a particular defendant. If the plaintiff can show that the defendant failed to abide by a food safety, storage, or handling regulation in conjunction with the contaminated food product, the plaintiff can assert a rebuttable presumption that the defendant was negligent.
If you have suffered injuries as a result of consuming a contaminated food product, you may be entitled to compensation. Identifying the food product that may have caused your harm and linking it to your illness is a critical yet difficult first step in any food-borne illness case. If you are feeling ill and believe it is a result of consuming contaminated food, you should seek medical care immediately. Not only will this help address your condition, but also it will create a record providing insight into the nature, extent, and source of your illness.
At Moll Law Group, our food contamination lawyers have assisted many victims with collecting evidence regarding their potential food-borne illness claims, including clients in California, Florida, Illinois, and New York. We offer a free consultation to help you learn more about your legal options and how we may be able to assist you. Call us now at 312-462-1700 or contact us online to set up your appointment.