FDA Proposed Food Safety Rules Seek to Prevent 3000 Deaths Per Year

This year, millions of Americans will resolve to lose weight and eat healthier. Some of these people will dive into eating more leafy greens to accomplish those goals. Will they also be at risk for injury and infection with E. Coli?  According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, there has been a food contamination outbreak from leafy greens in multiple states every year for the past few years.  A recent outbreak is brewing in Ohio, where the Hamilton County Health Department believes it started in a restaurant serving these infected leafy greens. Consumers ingesting these potentially infected leafy greens are warned they may be at risk for injury. 

Soon, if the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) has its way, these food born illnesses and injuries may be a distant memory.  2 years ago, Congress passed the Food Safety Modernization Act, which became law.  Over the past 2 years, the FDA has been drafting a revision to food safety and preparation laws which were last updated in the 1930's (prior to industrialized farming and packaging.)  These 1200 pages outline procedures for hygiene, food safety and sanitation procedures. In the next 4 months, the public has a right to respond and weigh in on the proposed rules before they become final.  The FDA is hoping that these updated rules will prevent the estimated 3,000 deaths per year due to food contamination and the 128,000 hospitalizations due to injuries related to food contamination.

The Dangers of Food Contamination 

Human beings are remarkably resilient.  However, despite the daily exposure to millions of germs, we can become sickened and injured when exposed to certain bacterium.  This can include E. Coli, Listeria, and other causes of food born illnesses and injuries. When people are exposed to these bacterium, they can become sick and injured in the following ways:

  • vomiting
  • diarrhea
  • skin lesions
  • vision problems
  • dehydration
  • heart problems due to dehydration and violent vomiting
  • death
Given these results, it's clear that food born illnesses can be quite serious for people who ingest contaminated food products. Depending upon the strength of your immune system, you could experience increased risk for injury.  The elderly, children, and pregnant women are in high risk for injury categories due to their often compromised immune systems. 

If You've Been Injured 

If you have eaten a food that made you sick and injured you severely, you should seek immediate medical attention.  You may be entitled to compensation depending upon the nature of your injury and the unique circumstances.  You should call a skilled product liability attorney to determine whether or not you have a case.