Many people in the Orange County area have been following the ongoing news about the Ebola cases that have reached the United States. Although it is natural to be fearful of such a deadly disease, the odds of a widespread outbreak in this country are extremely small. Californians face greater risks from countless sources other than a virus that is primarily confined to an entirely different continent. Even common food items on local store shelves can become a source of sickness, or even death in extreme cases.
For example, the California Department of Public Health (CDPH) recently recalled a product that retailer Williams-Sonoma carries nationwide, including at stores in Orange County. The dangerous product is a pumpkin seed pesto sauce that a CDPH doctor says may have been improperly produced. According to the doctor, who is a CDPH Director and State Health Officer, the defective production of the pesto sauce means that it could be contaminated with a form of botulism known as Clostridium botulinum.
Botulism can cause serious health problems and even death if a person consumes one of the potent toxins that causes it. Consumers can get sick from these toxins as a result of eating jarred or canned foods that are improperly processed.
Nobody should have to worry about getting sick or hurt from consuming packaged food or using any kind of product. But negligence on the part of a manufacturer or product designer can lead to these risks. Accordingly, those parties and others can have liability for injuries or death from defective products.
Orange County consumers should try to stay informed about all of the latest product recalls, like the recent one for the pumpkin seed pesto sauce. But manufacturers bear the responsibility for producing safe products. A consumer who has become ill or injured from an unsafe product may have the right to file a products liability lawsuit.
Source: Food Poison Journal, "Botulism Risk Recall: Pumpkin Seed Pesto," Bruce Clark, Oct. 10, 2014