Government’s Failure to Prevent Foodborne Illness

After weeks of uncertainty, the CDC finally let consumers know it is finally okay to eat romaine lettuce again. The government still does not know who grew, harvested, processed or distributed the tainted lettuce. Plus, the CDC and FDA are still investigating if the contamination occurred during the growing, washing, chopping, or bagging process. Hundreds of people became sick, and the government doesn’t know why.

About Foodborne Illness

Each year, millions of people in the United States get sick from contaminated food. Symptoms of food poisoning include upset stomach, abdominal cramps, nausea and vomiting, diarrhea, fever, and dehydration. Also, symptoms may range from mild to severe. Even though millions become sick, the FDA only conducted 156,000 food-safety inspections between 2010 and 2017. This averages less than 20,000 per year. Plus, the food isn’t labeled properly. The food stamps only have the country of origin and no sourcing information. This does little to prevent the myriad of bacteria, viruses, and parasites lurking on foods.

Failing to Prevent Foodborne Illness

It wasn’t until 2011 that food growers even had regulations on the water used for produce.  However, the public started questioning these practices in 2006 after another deadly outbreak of E. coli O157 on fresh spinach. Like the recent romaine outbreak, the source of contamination was water pollution, traced to cattle fields near the spinach fields. The 2006 outbreak resulted in at least 199 infections across 26 states, and three people died. In 2011, President Barack Obama signed the Food Safety Modernization Act into law. The law compelled the FDA to develop regulations for water safety on produce. However, it wasn’t until 2015 that the FDA even enacted the regulations. Also, they only compel very large farms to sample and test the water used to grown and clean produce. They don’t even never to report their water findings until 2019. But, there aren’t any real repercussions for not testing.

This means that more and more American consumers are at risk since the government is doing nothing substantial to prevent foodborne illness.

Help after a Foodborne Illness

After getting sick from an outbreak, you need to seek medical attention. Then, you need an experienced complex litigation attorney to help. When you experience side effects from severe food poisoning, it can have devastating effects on your entire life. A verdict or settlement could also provide compensation for your injuries and damages. The Michael Brady Lynch Firm is currently accepting injury cases in all 50 states. Therefore, if you or somebody you know was injured by an outbreak, you should contact our lawyers immediately for a free case consultation.

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