Reuters reported today that the federal government suspended operations at a New Mexico peanut butter manufacturing plant suspected in a recent salmonella outbreak. According to the Food and Drug Administration, this outbreak has already sickened 41 people this year. The FDA indicated that the processing plant, Sunland Inc., had previously been found to be in violation of various federal regulations.
According to the Reuters report, between 2010 and 2012, at least 8 product lots of salmonella contaminated peanut butter had been distributed by the company to its consumers. More recently, the FDA found traces of salmonella in the factory at inspections in September and October of this year.
This story is particularly alarming, especially if the company in question knowingly or due to negligence distributed products potentially contaminated with salmonella. While salmonella poisoning typically results in abdominal pain and diarrhea in healthy people, it can be quite dangerous, even potentially fatal, for older people or those with weak or compromised immune systems.
According to the Center for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), the risk of salmonella infection can be greatly minimized by following some simple and common sense steps, such as thoroughly cooking meats, poultry and eggs. Also, be sure to wash and disinfect hands, kitchen counter-tops and utensils after they have come into contact with raw meat, poultry and eggs. The CDC also recommends exercising heightened caution when around infants, the elderly and those with compromised immune systems.
We rely greatly on food producers and distributors to take the necessary steps to reduce, if not eliminate, the possibility of salmonella contamination in our food. However, all too often they fail to take the proper precautions and implement the proper procedures, resulting in contamination and infection. If you or a loved one has been sickened because food contamination, you may be entitled to compensation. Contact Pavich Law Group, P.C., today for a initial consultation to determine your legal rights.