Contaminated food products present a threat to consumers who purchase and eat them. Young children, the elderly, and people with compromised immune systems or heath are especially at risk. Depending on the circumstances and level of contamination, a person is liable to suffer serious harm if they consume faulty food.
Food products could also be dangerous if they are mislabeled. Consumers rely on labels to provide important information regarding the ingredients or recommended use-by date. You could unintentionally feed your child or other family member something they are allegoric to if the label is incomplete, insufficient, or missing.
The Pennsylvania food recall lawyers at the Reiff Law Firm have been representing injured individuals and their families for over three decades. You have the right to take legal action to recover medical expenses, lost wages, and pain and suffering if you have been harmed by contaminated food. Call (215) 709-6940 to schedule a free appointment.
The Food Recall Process in Pennsylvania
Typically, companies that produce food will recall their products from the market if they are improperly labeled or if the food presents a health hazard to consumers. In some cases, the food might have been contaminated or is the root cause of a foodborne illness.
Voluntary recalls occur when a manufacturer or distributor recalls its food or products based on knowledge or suspicion of a hazard. The United States Food and Drug Administration (FDA) also has the authority to require a recall. This power is granted through the Food Safety Modernization Act.
Typically, the FDA only exercises this authority if a manufacturer or distributor refuses to comply with a request from the FDA to voluntarily recall a specific product. Prior to the law, the FDA was required to rely on the company’s decision, even if there was evidence of contamination or danger.
Under the act, the FDA also has the authority to suspend the registration of any facility if there is evidence that the food was processed, packaged, or otherwise handled in such a way that presents a serious threat to consumer’s health. When a registration is suspended, a company is no longer legally permitted to sell food in the U.S.
When a food product is recalled in the United States, including Pennsylvania, it is classified in one of three ways.
A recall will be classified as Class I if the food product is dangerous or defective. The predictable result of consumption or distribution would be serious health problems and possibly death. For example, food that is recalled because it contains a mislabeled allergen would be considered Class I.
Food products that are likely to cause a temporary health issue or only pose a slight threat are classified as Class II.
When a food product violates federal label regulations or does not adhere to manufacturing laws, it could be labeled Class III. To fall under this classification, the food product is unlikely to result in any negative health problems. For instance, a lack of English on the label could result in a Class III recall.
Legal Protections for Victims of Food Recalls in Pennsylvania
When a food manufacturer or distributor discovers that their product is contaminated or defective, it could be recalled. However, it is possible that before the contamination was discovered, people were harmed, suffering illness, injury, or death.
Food contamination falls under a body of complex law known as product liability. When we buy a product, we expect it to serve its intended purpose. There is a reasonable expectation that the food we buy does not present a health hazard. However, while you could hold a food manufacturer financially liable for your injury, it is not a simple task.
Major food producers and manufacturers will investigate any claim made against them. They will also have lawyers working to combat any liability claim. This is one reason why it is important to contact our Pennsylvania food recall lawyers if you believe you have been injured by a contaminated or mislabeled food product.
Whether you want to negotiate with the manufacturer or file a personal lawsuit, you should have competent legal representation so that you understand your rights and options. In most cases, a personal injury claim will not only provide compensation to ease the financial burdens associated with the injury, but it could also prevent others from suffering the same fate.
Steps To Take if You Were Harmed by Recalled Food in Pennsylvania
Product liability claims for recalled food products are challenging. Often, the symptoms associated with eating contained food could be attributed to an illness or other disease. To help our Pennsylvania product liability lawyers build a case, there are some things you should consider.
Save the defective food and packaging. Hopefully, the packaging includes the name and address of the manufacturer and an identification or batch number. You should also save the receipt, so our firm has the date you purchased the product and the store where you bought it.
Do not contaminate the food further. Be sure to save it in a place where it will remain untouched and unchanged. If anyone witnessed the purchase or your illness, be sure to gather their names and contact information.
You should not talk to anyone about the incident without consulting with our Pennsylvania personal injury lawyers first. Do not give any written statements or sign any documents that might release the store or manufacturer from liability.
Our Pennsylvania Food Recall Lawyers Offer Free Consultations
If you are suffering from the severe symptoms of consuming contaminated food or a foodborne illness, you will likely incur medical bills and miss time at work. However, you have legal rights. The Pennsylvania food recall lawyers at the Reiff Law Firm are in your corner. Our firm brings the knowledge and resources of three decades of experience to the table. Call our law offices at (215) 709-6940 to review your options.