Food Safety Guidelines
Food safety guidelines are critically important and are not always followed. An estimated 76 million people suffer from some form of foodborne illness, or food poisoning, every year, resulting in approximately 325,000 hospitalizations and 5,000 deaths. In recent years, there have been a number of food poisoning outbreaks across the country, including Salmonella outbreaks and E. coli outbreaks. Accordingly, it is very important for food distributors and handlers to be knowledgeable of proper food safety guidelines to produce the safest food products possible for consumers.
Food Safety Guidelines Necessary to Combat Food Poisoning
Many cases of food poisoning can be traced back to poor food safety guidelines enforcement, including improper food processing, handling, preparation and storage of goods. This handling of food products by distributors and sellers inconsistent with food safety guidelines can lead to contamination by harmful bacteria that may cause illness. Food handlers thus need enforceable food safety guidelines to ensure they take the utmost care in handling and preparing food and to ensure that they are properly educated in food safety.
U.S. Health Officials Establish New Food Safety Guidelines
On March 14, 2009, President Barack Obama, realizing the need for strong food safety guidelines to avoid food poisoning outbreaks, established the Food Safety Working Group, chaired by the Secretaries of the Department of Health and Human Services and the Department of Agriculture. On July 7, 2009, this group announced a series of new food safety guidelines designed to reduce food contamination and increase food safety, including stricter rules for the production of poultry, beef, eggs, leafy greens, melons and tomatoes. Among other food safety guidelines, the new guidelines include:
- New standards for egg and poultry producers to reduce Salmonella contamination, including increased testing and refrigeration for eggs
- Increased sampling of ground beef ingredients designed to combat E. coli contamination
- Recommendations from the FDA for producers of leafy greens, melons and tomatoes to reduce disease strains, and to require stricter standards in those industries within two years
- New positions created within the FDA and the Agriculture Department to better oversee food safety and food safety training
Failure to Comply with Food Safety Guidelines – Food Safety Lawsuits
Food services have a duty to provide consumers with the safest goods possible, and failure to do so can lead to food liability. Though most cases are mild, in some circumstances, food poisoning symptoms can worsen and cause serious illnesses and complications, even resulting in death in the most severe cases. If you or a loved one has been harmed by a failure to comply with food safety guidelines resulting in injury from food poisoning, you may have a food poisoning lawsuit. Contact our food poisoning lawyers today for a free claim evaluation.