Contaminated Turkey Sold to Consumers in the San Francisco Bay Area

Around 36 million pounds of ground turkey has been recalled due to it being linked to 77 incidents of salmonella poisoning and one death in Sacramento, according to sfexaminer.com. The meat in question is packaged under the name of Honeysuckle White-brand turkey products, Kroger ground turkey and Giant Eagle ground turkey and were sold at FoodsCo, Food 4 Less and Winco Foods . Consumers can be return the packages purchased for a full refund. As of Tuesday, six cases have been reported in California-one in San Francisco, one in Los Angeles, one in Riverside, one in San Diego, and two in Sacramento. The strand of bacteria linked to this outbreak is what is known as salmonella Heidelberg and is resistant to most prescribed antibiotics, according to the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. An investigation is being handled by the USDA Food Safety and Inspection Service and the CDC. The USDA has warned consumers to fully cook their meat.

It is important to point out that growers, retailers, importers and/or distributors of food owe a duty of care to the consumer not to sell, import or distribute food that is unsafe for human consumption. As such, there exists an implied warranty for goods sold to the consumer. In the case of imported foods, importers must comply with all regulatory requirements surrounding the goods it intends to sell. Usually an importer must hire a customs broker to inspect food, as will the government, certifying that the food is safe and fit for human consumption, which may be the ultimate deciding factor for establishing if the standard of care had been met by the importer.

Advances in food production technology, such as the radio frequency identification tracking system, have allowed the producers of our food the ability to track each piece of produce from moment of harvest to truck to distribution center to retail store, a process that has made it easier than ever to contain and track contamination outbreaks. But these systems are not always a guarantee that contaminated food won’t, or can’t, slip past them and end up on our dinner tables. Food contamination isn’t always the result of a huge farming or harvesting mishaps, though, such as feces making contact with a crop, or an animal on the way to the slaughter, it can sometimes be the result of a farm or warehouse worker not washing their hands or a grocery store worker leaving perishable food out for too long before selling it to a customer.

If you or a family member became ill after eating contaminated food, please contact our office for a free consultation. Our food contamination attorney has a great deal of expertise at investigating these issues and helping you understand against whom you may have a viable claim.