Before reaching your plate, the food you eat takes several steps to reach you from the farm, ranch, or fishery where it was produced. Along the way, food can be contaminated during the production, processing, distribution, or preparation process. No matter when the contamination occurs, contaminated food can cause serious injury, and in extreme cases, death, to people who have unknowingly ingested it.
How can Food Contamination Occur?
Food can be contaminated during any step of the food production chain:
- During the production process, animals raised may become diseased or raw vegetables and fruits grown may be sprayed with chemicals that may contaminate the food we eventually eat.
- Food can be soiled due to unsanitary conditions when it is processed and packaged prior to distribution to stores and restaurants.
- Food may also spoil during transit before it reaches its final destination – a grocery store, restaurant, school, hospital, etc.
- Finally, food may be contaminated with harmful bacteria due to unsafe cooking practices or poor sanitary conditions.
Who is Responsible?
Due to the complexity of the agricultural economy, identifying which party is responsible for a case of food poisoning or the outbreak of a foodborne illness can be difficult. The New York City health code section 81.07 outlines the measures restaurants must take in order to establish proper sanitary conditions to ensure the safety of their customers. But, what happens when a food product has been contaminated earlier in the food production process?
It can be difficult and time-consuming to pinpoint the origin of a foodborne illness outbreak. However, in New York food poisoning cases follow product liability legal theory, and as such are treated similarly to cases involving a defective product. In other words, if you have suffered from a foodborne illness you may recover compensation from the maker of the food product without demonstrating negligence on the part of the food manufacturer or restaurant.
Consult an Experienced New York City Food Contamination Attorney
If you have suffered from an illness after eating contaminated food, you are entitled to have your story heard. Whether the illness was caused by unsanitary preparation in a restaurant or processing plant, at the Robinson & Yablon, P.C. you will find a passionate team that is prepared to fight for your rights. Contact us at (212) 725-8566 and set up a consultation today.