The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention has issued a massive recall of fresh-cut produce sold in chain stores across multiple states—and now, California has joined the list. Pre-cut melon products, including cantaloupe and honeydew as well as seedless watermelon chunks and spears, are being recalled over salmonella contamination fears. The CDC warns that this recall includes pre-cut melons included in fruit-mix bowls sold at stores including Sprouts, Walmart, Costco and Whole Foods.
What causes salmonella poisoning?
Salmonella poisoning, also known as salmonellosis, is caused by an infection of a bacterium entering the digestive tract. Although salmonella risks from handling or ingesting undercooked poultry or eggs are common knowledge, when cross-contamination occurs during food processing, foods that would normally be at low risk for carrying the salmonella bacterium become threats for spreading food-borne illness.
Salmonella poisoning typically causes severe gastrointestinal distress, similar to a “stomach flu.” Symptoms typically arise within a half-day to three days of consuming the contaminated food product, and may include:
- Acute abdominal cramping
- Severe nausea and vomiting
- Moderate to high fever
Most healthy adults can recover from salmonellosis within a few days from onset of symptoms if they get plenty of rest and stay hydrated. However, certain groups of people—such as the very young or the elderly, or people with existing health conditions—can be vulnerable to complications and have difficulty recovering without medical care.
Failure to follow processing procedures can harm consumers
Cross-contamination can occur when people who work in food processing facilities fail to follow correct processing procedures—such as proper hand-washing or equipment-sanitizing—and this can lead to deadly, infectious bacteria making its way onto supermarket shelves to be sold to hapless individuals. Although the American public places a great deal of trust in the USDA and FDA to help protect them from food-borne harm, poorly processed or contaminated foods still manage to “slip through the cracks” and are often only reported after making someone seriously ill.
Use food safety sense and report any suspected cases of bad food
Make sure to thoroughly inspect all processed meats before eating them, and thoroughly wash and dry all produce as soon as you get home from the store—even those labeled “pre-washed” or “ready-to-eat.” If you get sick after eating something, make sure you file a complaint including the inspection number on the product’s label and document your illness and everything related to it—including medical bills and possible loss of wages due to recovery time—in case you decide to pursue a legal case under product liability law.
If you need legal guidance, help is available
Have you or someone you care about been harmed by a food-borne illness or by another defective product? Contact the Los Angeles product liability lawyers at Compass Law Group, LLP to learn more about your legal rights as a consumer. The staff at Compass Law Group, LLP can evaluate your claim for free and help offer guidance through the legal system so you can learn more about your rights as a victim.