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Product liability issues: Listeria can cause serious illness

It seems as though a different food ends up recalled every week. Some Ohio shoppers may wonder whether they can trust any products they purchase at this point while others consider the recalls more of a nuisance, but nothing more. One of the reasons why many food items end up taken off the shelves is due to contamination from Listeria, which can cause serious or fatal injuries in some segments of the population. In any case, more companies are issuing recalls in an abundance of caution in order to avoid product liability claims.

What consumers surely prefer is that the products they purchase and feed their families do not contain the bacteria at all. The serious or fatal effects of Listeria most often affect people with weakened immune systems, children and the elderly. Pregnant women could miscarry or their babies could be stillborn.

This hearty bacterium tends to resist cold and heat. It lives in water, soil and some animals' intestines. It transfers to raw meats, dairy products and vegetables that then end up in stores, and ultimately, in the refrigerators of consumers. Most people do not realize that Listeria is not killed in the cold temperatures of the refrigerator. It can survive for years in a food manufacturing facility.

If companies or government officials fail to find Listeria contamination quickly enough, consumers here in Ohio could end up seriously ill if they fall into a category of vulnerable people just as others across the country. Of those who become ill, some could even die. Victims may be able to pursue restitution for the harm done to them through the filing of a product liability claim.

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