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Produce Linked to Many Food Poisoning Cases in U.S.

Posted on in Food Poisoning

Produce Linked to Many Food Poisoning Cases in U.S.Raw fruits and vegetables are undeniably an important part of a nutritious diet, but they can also be a source of food poisoning. In fact, a 2015 study from the Centers for Disease Control found that almost half of the reported food poisoning cases from 2008 to 2012 came from eating raw produce. The CDC cited several possible reasons for this:

  • People are eating raw produce more often.
  • The cleaning process on some farms actually traps harmful bacteria in the produce.
  • Some bacteria cannot be removed by washing it off.

If you are certain that eating fresh fruits or vegetables caused your food poisoning, then you may be entitled to compensation from the people that grew or packaged the products.

Apples Recall

As a recent example, a Michigan company recalled apples it had shipped out from Oct. 16 to 24 because of possible listeria contamination. The apples were sold in bags with the brand names Great Lakes and North Bay Pure Michigan and distributed to retailers and wholesalers in eight states, including Illinois. No listeriosis cases had been reported at the time of the recall. Companies often issue voluntary recalls in advance of outbreaks because they know they could be liable if a consumer became sick. Listeriosis is usually not life-threatening to healthy adults but can be more serious for children, the elderly, and pregnant women.

Protecting Yourself

Consumers often choose to not cook their produce because it can lose nutrients during the process. However, this also means that they are not killing bacteria in the product through the cooking process. You should wash or scrub raw produce under running water before eating it, even if you do not plan on eating the skin. You should also cut away bruised or damaged areas on the produce – or better yet, avoid picking damaged produce when purchasing it. These areas are vulnerable to contamination that gets inside the meat of the fruit or vegetable, where it is more difficult to clean. Once you have finished washing produce, dry it off with a clean paper towel.

Contact a Chicago Food Poisoning Attorney

The most thorough cleaning efforts will not prevent all food poisoning cases from eating raw produce. Having food poisoning is more than an inconvenience. It can lead to hospitalization, long-term health problems, and lost wages from work. An Arlington Heights, Illinois, food poisoning lawyer at Newland & Newland, LLP, can help you receive compensation for your illness. To schedule a consultation, call 312-981-0409.


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