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Listeria-tainted hummus could mean more product liability suits

Despite safety measures set in motion by the FDA, there are still about four listeria outbreaks in America annually. These outbreaks are typically associated with food, many of which are common items in refrigerators across Ohio, and they sometimes prompt the need for product liability claims. The most recent listeria outbreak, which is the second this year, was caused by Sabra, a popular brand of hummus. 

If it feels as though a post about a listeria outbreak was just published, the feeling is warranted. On March 16, 2005, a post was published about the listeria outbreak linked to certain Blue Bell ice cream products ("Product liability claims could follow Blue Bell listeria outbreak"). While many people were sickened and there were multiple fatalities from that outbreak, Sabra claims that no consumers have actually been harmed by its listeria-tainted hummus. Instead, the company says that routine testing, not customer illnesses, caught the contamination.

Still, a lack of complaints does not automatically equal no illnesses. Some individuals might be under the impression that they are suffering from food poisoning rather than a listeria infection, as both can have similar symptoms. Still others might have suffered serious side effects and symptoms, especially those who are older than 60 or already suffering from a medical condition, such as diabetes. 

Although Sabra exercised cautionary testing, it still did not prevent the listeria-contaminated hummus from being distributed to grocery stores. While the recall was likely effective at removing the tainted products from store shelves, it is possible that the information will not reach every last customer in Ohio, which can leave some at risk for consuming contaminated hummus that was purchased before the recall was announced. Illnesses from listeria can be especially damaging, both physically and financially, and many victims of food-borne illnesses from contaminated products find that product liability suits are effective courses of action for seeking just and necessary compensation.

Source: Forbes, "Listeria In Sabra Hummus Prompts Latest Food Safety Recall", Judy Stone, April 9, 2015

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