For many of us, food is one of the great joys in life. It allows us to nourish our bodies, indulge our cravings, spend valuable time with family and friends, and fuels us to perform better during sports and activities.
We all place a considerable amount of trust in food providers and manufacturers daily. How many times have you wandered into the grocery store, picked up a few items, and taken them home to cook – all without any consideration as to the origin of the product?
In most cases, manufacturers will recall impaired products as soon as they hit the shelves, if not before, and this avoids most injuries and issues. However, in some cases, the warning comes too late, and the worst-case scenario sees a wholesome meal end in tragedy.
What Are the Levels of Recall?
There are several levels, or classifications, of recall:
- Class I – there is a strong chance that consumption would cause serious health problems or death – e,g, food contaminated with bacteria such as e-coli.
- Class II – there is a strong chance consumption may cause illness, such as mild sickness or stomach problems
- Class III – consumption is unlikely to cause illness, but the food is mislabeled or is it a small risk.
Why are Food Products Usually Recalled?
Recalling any product is not something taken lightly, and especially not where food is involved. Before any product reaches the consumers, it is required to undergo a series of stringent tests. With edible items, this includes ensuring that they are safe and fit for human consumption.
There can be several reasons behind a recall, including:
- The food has been contaminated or is defective – this may have occurred during production, such as the use of a dangerous pesticide, or in the packing stage – perhaps the tin or plastic used to pack the product has been found to contain deadly chemicals. This is usually accidental, though there have been cases of deliberate tampering, usually by disgruntled former employees or dangerous individuals.
- The food is causing an unexpected safety concern, such as an unexpected reaction or condition.
- The food is mislabeled and may cause confusion. Crucial warning signs may be missing in some cases, making the product potentially fatal for those with severe allergies or intolerances. For example, nut warnings are amongst the most common reasons for this type of recall.
- The food was not packaged correctly – this could result in it becoming stale or unfit for consumption or allow parasites, bugs, and bacteria to make their way into the product.
What Are My Rights?
If a recalled food product causes you harm or illness, you may be able to file a claim for personal injury. Similarly, if you have lost a loved one due to the consumption of a dangerous food, you may be able to pursue the manufacturer for a wrongful death claim. If successful, courts will award financial compensation and damages for your suffering. Though this cannot bring the deceased back, it can offer support, comfort, and assistance to those left behind.
To learn more about your rights and how they affect your situation, reach out to our wrongful death attorneys today.