Do you remember reading about more than 100 people in 28 states being hospitalized after eating cantaloupe in May, 2011? In addition to the 33 official deaths, the listeria caused a miscarriage and more patients who had the illness died months after the outbreak.
As with any product, we assume that food must be safe if it’s on the market shelves. Unfortunately, thousands of Americans discover each year that this isn’t always true.
The 2011 listeria epidemic was one of the nation’s deadliest outbreaks of a foodborne illness.
In recent news, the two brothers who owned the Colorado cantaloupe farm behind the listeria epidemic pled guilty to charges that could bring each up to six years in Federal prison. Each was charged with six Federal misdemeanor counts of introducing and delivering adulterated food into interstate commerce.
Although they are facing a maximum of six years, Federal guidelines suggest a sentence of 4 to 10 months per count. In addition, each could be fined up to $150,000 for each of the six counts. They are scheduled to be sentenced in January, 2014.
When the cantaloupes are brought to the processing center and transferred to a conveyor system for cleaning, cooling and packing, the equipment is supposed to scrub the fruit with sufficient anti-bacterial solution to ensure its safety.
This did not happen. The brothers bought a new cleaning system that was supposed to include a catch pan and chlorine spray that would be used to clean bacteria from the fruit. Unfortunately, the spray was never used and the fruit was maintained in unsanitary conditions.
According to attorneys, the brothers “feel great sympathy for the listeria victims.”
If you or a loved one was hurt by food poisoning, you can and should hold the negligent food company responsible for your injuries.
The San Bernardino personal injury law offices of Welebir Tierney & Weck can help you win compensation for past and future medical bills, lost wages, long-term health problems or disabilities, wrongful death, and emotional trauma.
We are committed to getting the best possible results for you and ensure that your long-term medical and financial needs are taken care of. Call us today to discuss how we can help you and your family.