The legal doctrine known as "strict liability" means you (or your insured) are responsible for the safety of your (or your insured's) product. The concept applies to all members involved in the manufacturing and selling any facet of the product. The doctrine of strict liability poses strict liability on one who sells a product in a defective condition unreasonably dangerous to the user or consumer
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC)
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) lists four sources of foodborne illness: disease-causing bacteria, viruses, parasites and toxins. A few of these are very common and account for the majority of reported illness cases.
Half of all foodborne outbreaks reported to CDC have no identifiable cause. However, most of the outbreaks are due to microorganisms in food. At least 30 pathogens are commonly associated with foodborne illness.
CDC has targeted four bacterial pathogens - E. coli O157:H7, Salmonella Enteritidis, Listeria monocytogenes and Campylobacter jejuni - as those of greatest concern. Also of concern to CDC are other bacterial pathogens, such as Vibrio vulnificus and Yersinia enterocolitica, Clostridium perfringens and Staphylococcus aureus.
Bacteria in food can cause infections when the microorganism is eaten and established in the body, usually multiplying inside the intestinal tract and irritating the lining of the intestines.
Million cases of foodborne illness
The General Accounting Office (GAO), in a May 1996 report, stated that there are between 6.5 million and 81 million cases of foodborne illness a year. In 1994, the estimate was between 6.5 million to 33 million cases of foodborne illness. The wide range in cases of foodborne illness is due to the uncertainty about the number that go unreported.
The National Center for Health Statistics estimates the number of deaths per year from foodborne illness to be 9,100.
While the likelihood of serious complications is unknown, the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) estimates that about 2 to 3 percent of all foodborne illness cases lead to secondary long-term illnesses. For example, E. coli O157:H7 can cause kidney failure in young children and infants; Salmonella can lead to reactive arthritis and serious infections; Listeria can cause meningitis and stillbirths; and Campylobacter may be the most common precipitating factor for Guillain-Barre syndrome.
If you or a member of your family has suffered from food poisoning
When we decide to purchase a meal from a restaurant, we should be able to take it for granted that the food will be adequately prepared and safe to eat. It is not only good "business sense" for a restaurant to be careful about hygiene issues; it is a legal requirement. Unfortunately, as with all other kinds of business, there are some restaurant owners and managers who fail to meet the duties of their jobs. ne of the biggest risks of negligence in the kitchen is food poisoning, a term that covers all food-borne
illnesses and contaminants.
Seek Medical Care if You Suspect Food Poisoning
Food poisoning can result in serious illness and injury, including abdominal cramps, diarrhea, fevers, chills, bleeding, weakness, headaches, nausea and vomiting. These symptoms often start within two to six hours of consuming contaminated food.
Over the long-term, these symptoms can lead to respiratory arrest, kidney failure and problems, bleeding disorders and death. If you suspect you have food poisoning, contact a doctor. They may ask about your symptoms and what foods you have eaten recently. They may order tests. If there is leftover contaminated food, you may be asked to bring a sample in for testing.
There are many potential defendants in any foreign object or food poisoning lawsuit. In general, any company or individual involved in the production, packaging, storage, distribution, preparation or sale of a recalled or unsafe food or drink product may have potential liability for illness or death suffered by the consumer. Depending upon the laws in the state where the food poisoning occurred, cases against any particular defendant can involve claims of negligence, negligence per se (i.e. violation of a state statute), breach of contract, breach of warranty, and statutes which impose strict liability for defective or dangerous products. Of course, each case is different and determining who is liable under these various legal theories for an isolated occurrence or widespread outbreak of foodborne illness depends upon the facts and evidence presented.
Report your suspected case of food poisoning straight away
If you believe that you have suffered food poisoning from a food retailer it is important to visit your GP straight away. Your GP will then take some blood to confirm what infection you have. A confirmed diagnosis will assist should you decide to pursue a claim for compensation.
If a GP or hospital believes that food poisoning has occurred at a restaurant, they must report it to the local Environmental Health Department. If you do not go to a GP or hospital you should, in any case, report the case to the local Environmental Health Department yourself.
Southern Nevada Health District
Recently, the Southern Nevada Health District announced that the result of its restaurant inspections are now available, free, on the District's website. This tool has been helpful in tracking major restaurant violators of Nevada health laws.Food poisoning can vary dramatically in severity to an evening of misery to a life altering result from the acute illness. Suffering from food poisoning while visiting Las Vegas can be a traumatic experience.
Additional resources provided by the author
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