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IL injury lawyerSustenance is essential to our survival, and when we purchase food from a grocery store or a meal from a restaurant we want to believe it is safe to consume. A faulty good from a department store may cause external physical harm, but negligence in food production can lead to severe illness and death.

Liability when it comes to food safety can take many forms. If a company has poor safety practices, then contamination can affect customers. Bacteria, like salmonella, can make people sick when incorporated into the food supply, or a foreign object can make its way to the final product. Companies in the past have also been held liable for not listing a warning on their products.

One of the most famous cases of the latter is Liebeck v. McDonald’s Restaurants from 1994. Stella Liebeck was served a hot cup of coffee in a McDonald’s Restaurant drive through that resulted in third-degree burns to her lower body. The temperature of the cup of coffee was up to 40 degrees higher than other restaurants that serve coffee, or the average temperature of a cup of coffee from an at home coffee maker. Because of the high temperature, 700 others were also burned by hot beverages at McDonald’s. Although the cup did warn that the contents are hot, there was no warning about third-degree burns. Liebeck was awarded $2.7 Million in punitive damages and $160,000 for medical expenses.

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Multiple Foods Recalled for Possible Salmonella Contamination

Kane County food poisoning injury attorneyA public health alert has been issued by the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s Food Safety and Inspection Service (FSIS) for products containing whey powder that might be contaminated with salmonella. The whey powder, which is a FDA-regulated product, has been recalled by the manufacturer, Associated Milk Producers, Inc. So far, four different food products have been recalled due to the salmonella concerns, and illnesses caused by these contaminated foods could bring about product liability lawsuits.

Whey Powder Usage

It is not uncommon for foods to contain whey powder. Whey is a milk by-product that is often used in powder form for its convenience. Whey powder is typically used to modify texture, thicken foods, and enhance the solubility and transportability of foods. Often, it is used in foods that have relatively long shelf lives, though that is one of the reasons the salmonella contamination is occurring in dry foods--salmonella has the ability to survive in dry environments. 

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Pursuing a Personal Injury Claim for Food Poisoning

Aurora personal injury lawyer food poisoningWhen you purchase food from a grocery store or order a meal at a restaurant, you expect the food to be safe for you to eat. However, there are many cases in which contaminated food is sold or served to consumers, and food poisoning can result in a wide variety of harmful conditions. In fact, the Centers for Disease Control (CDC) has estimated that 48 million people become ill from foodborne diseases every year in the United States, and these illnesses result in 128,000 hospitalizations and 3,000 deaths. If you have been injured because of food poisoning, you may be able to seek compensation for your damages through a personal injury or product liability lawsuit.

Types of Food Poisoning

There are a wide variety of illnesses that can result from food poisoning, and some of the most common include:

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