Hayes Law Offices
Middlesboro, Kentucky

Manufacturer's liability in food poisoning scare

The food supply in the United States is typically safe and the Food and Drug Administration normally does a good job of alerting the public to potential problems. The most recent alert is widespread and of a different nature than other warnings in Kentucky and elsewhere have been. Salmonella is a bacteria that one typically associates with raw meat, particularly poultry. Precautions are urged that suggest keeping surfaces and hands clean when handling uncooked foods. This latest scare leaves Pillsbury subject to a possible manufacturer's liability claim.

Five-pound packages of Pillsbury flour are being recalled due to a fear that they have become contaminated with salmonella. The suspected product was distributed nationwide to stores, including Publix, Winn-Dixie and Meijer.  The recall impacts 12,000 cases of flour or over 100,000 five-pound packages. The affected product bears the name Pillsbury Unbleached All Purpose Flour with expiration dates of April 19 or 20, 2020. The lot numbers are 8292 or 8293.

There were initial concerns that the FDA had not posted a recall to its website. It is understandable that people might not immediately associate a salmonella outbreak with flour. The FDA did ultimately issue a recall. Symptoms of salmonella poisoning include diarrhea and fever.

Salmonella poisoning is unpleasant for everyone but can be dangerous to the very old and very young. Severe diarrhea and fever can cause dehydration and may require hospitalization. While legal options may be far from a person's mind at such a time in Kentucky, products liability law allows for a civil suit against the party deemed responsible for causing the illness. A successfully litigated manufacturer's liability claim can assist with medical costs and other verifiable losses.

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