Food Products & Restaurant Liability

Modified on 2009/10/14 21:32 by admin
The Federal government (along with state and local agencies) regulates food safety through the Department of Health and Human Services' (DHHS) Food and Drug Administration (FDA), the U.S. Department of Agriculture's (USDA) Food Safety and Inspection Service (FSIS) and Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service (APHIS), and the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA).

These agencies oversee the production and distribution of over $275 billion worth of food products each year. Their mission is to ensure that the U.S. food supply is "safe, nutritious, and wholesome." The agencies also monitor and approve food-labeling standards.

These Federal agencies act pursuant to laws passed by Congress such as the Federal Food, Drug, and Cosmetic Act (FFDCA), the Federal Meat Inspection Act (FMIA), the Poultry Products Inspection Act (PPIA), the Egg Products Inspection Act (EPIA), the Food Quality Protection Act (FQPA), and the Public Health Service Act. Congress requires that these agencies develop detailed rules and regulations necessary to enforce these laws.

Despite this apparently extensive oversight program, illnesses and deaths still occur due to contaminated food products. There are hundreds of bacteria (such as salmonella) and viruses (such as the Norwalk or Hepatitis viruses) that can cause foodborne illness or "food poisoning," not to mention manmade toxic agents such as pesticides, herbicides and rodenticides. Statistics show that annually, in the U.S. alone, over hundreds of thousands of people are hospitalized for food poisoning, and more than 5,000 die. Because the vast majority of food poisoning cases pass after a few days of vomiting, diarrhea, and general comfort, many experts believe that less than half of all food poisoning cases are reported or identified each year.

While the U.S. food regulatory system is good, it is unable to fully monitor the daily activities of tens of thousands of restaurants and food product manufacturers in the U.S for compliance and best practices. Poorly trained employees, pressure to cut costs, human error, mother nature, and countless other factors result in thousands of deadly episodes of food poisoning each year. 

If you suspect you or your family have fallen seriously ill because of a spoiled food product, either purchased from a grocery store or restaurant, ask your healthcare provider to test for food poisoning. The results may be important to your physician, and for officials investigating widespread outbreaks to investigators. If you've suffered serious harm (hospitalization or worse), it may be important to contact an attorney who can help you protect your legal rights.

Please keep in mind that there may be time limits within which you must commence suit. Attorneys associated with will evaluate your case free of charge. In addition, you will not pay any fees or costs unless your attorney recovers money for you. Please click on the free Ask An Attorney button to take advantage of this valuable service.

See Also

  1. Alfalfa / Clover Sprouts: Overview
  2. Candy: Overview
  3. Carrageenan: Overview
  4. Chi-Chi's Mexican Restaurant Hepatitis Outbreak
  5. Defective & Dangerous Products: Overview
  6. Product Liability - Food & Restaurant - Drinks: Overview
  7. Fast Food: Overview
  8. Irradiation: Overview
  9. McGowan's Pizzaland Hepatitis Outbreak
  10. Meat Products: Overview
  11. O'Charley's Restaurant Hepatitis Outbreak
  12. Paramount Farms Raw Almonds
  13. Great Value/Peter Pan Peanut Butter Recall
  14. Pet Food Recall
  15. Produce (Fruits & Vegetables)
  16. Saccharin: Overview
  17. Sheetz Gas Station Salmonella Outbreak
  18. Starlink Corn: Overview
  19. Anaphylactic Shock: Overview
  20. Blood Disorders: Overview
  21. Campylobacter Infections
  22. Chocking: Overview
  23. Cryptosporidiosis: Overview
  24. Giardiasis: Overview
  25. Salmonellosis: Overview
  26. Shigellosis: Overview
  27. Food Products: Frequently Asked Questions
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