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Dangerous food products and Listeria

This blog often discusses when food products are recalled and how they can pose a hazard to unsuspecting consumers. What we do not do often, however, is discuss some of the harms that can befall products liability victims. Therefore, this week we wanted to devote our blog post to a medical condition that may be weighing on the minds of many consumers: Listeria.

During the last several weeks, several food products have been recalled for their contamination with Listeria. This bacterium, which is often found in the soil and in water, can also be present in animals. As a result, raw milk and products made with raw milk can contain the bacteria. The bacteria can also thrive in food processing plants, threatening to contaminate other foods. Making matters worse, Listeria can survive refrigeration. When it comes to foods, only cooking and pasteurization can kill the bacteria.

Those who become infected with Listeria can face serious harm, even death. Symptoms of infection include confusion, weakness, vomiting, fever, and stiff neck. The incubation period can be up to 70 days, meaning it may be a while before symptoms show themselves. Yet, once illness strikes, it could last for weeks. Those who experience these symptoms should therefore seek medical help, especially since antibiotics may be able to kill Listeria and save a victim from an unpleasant, even lethal outcome.

Product manufacturers owe it to their customers to provide products that are safe for consumption. When they fail to do so, they put the general public at risk of harm. Thus, when an innocent consumer is hurt due to a negligent food manufacturer, he or she should consider his or her legal rights and act on them accordingly. Doing so may bring a victim compensation and send the message that negligent food processes will not be tolerated.

Source: Foodsafety.gov, "Listeria," accessed on April 27, 2015

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