Beginning in late March of 2018, the US Centers for Disease Control and
Prevention (CDC) began receiving reports from various state health departments
around the country of a type of food poisoning caused by contamination
of a popular breakfast cereal with a type of bacteria known as
Salmonella. As of Thursday, July 12th, the CDC reported that it had received confirmation of 100 unique cases of
Salmonella in 33 states.
In today's post, the
defective consumer products lawyer at the
Doan Law Firm explains the symptoms of
Salmonella food poisoning, how
Salmonella contamination could have occurred, and the options that may be available
to those who became ill after eating food that was contaminated by
Salmonella food poisoning?
Food poisoning occurs when some of the food products we eat are contaminated
and these bacteria are not rendered harmless when the food is cooked or prepared.
In the case under discussion here, the bacteria that is responsible for
the illness is known as
The symptoms of
Salmonella food poisoning are almost always related to the gastrointestinal tract
and can include nausea, vomiting, diarrhea, headache, and dehydration.
Since these same symptoms can occur with other illnesses, special lab
tests are necessary to confirm a diagnosis of
Salmonella food poisoning.
Salmonella food poisoning, although unpleasant, is usually managed by preventing
dehydration with fluid replacement and the use of anti-nausea/anti-diarrhea
medication. Like other infections,
Salmonella can be dangerous to the very young, and elderly, segments of the population
as well as those with compromised immune systems. It is this subset of
patients that will have the slowest response to treatment.
How has the current outbreak developed?
The CDC does not have the resources to investigate every report of a food-borne
illness. Instead, it monitors reports that are sent in by the various
state health departments. Using sophisticated statistical techniques,
it is then able to allocate its resources more efficiently. Based on published
information, the current outbreak was managed along the following timeline.
Late March to Mid-May, 2018
The CDC began receiving reports of possible food-borne illnesses involving the
microbe. After further investigation, it was determined that the source
of these infections was most likely a contaminated breakfast cereal, Kellogg
Honey Smacks. This information was then relayed to both the cereal's
manufacturer and to the appropriate federal agencies.
June 14, 2018
The US Food and Drug Administration (FDA) confirmed that the Kellogg Company
had issued a "voluntary recall" of its 15.3 oz. and 23 oz. packages
of Kellogg's Honey Smacks cereal because these products are assumed
to have been contaminated by the potential presence of
Salmonella bacteria. See
"Kellogg Company Voluntarily Recalls Honey Smacks Cereal Due to Possible
Health Risk" for a more detailed explanation of this recall.
July 12, 2018
In the first significant update since that of June 14th, the CDC added 27 confirmed cases from 19 states for a total of 100 cases
since the outbreak began. Two more states, Florida and Colorado, were
also added to the list of states with confirmed cases of
Salmonella. As of this update, there have been 30 hospitalizations that have been
Salmonella-contaminated Kellogg's Honey Smacks cereal but
no deaths have been reported.
Who was responsible for the
As far as personal injury law is concerned, Kellogg is responsible for
any and all consequences of the
Salmonella outbreak because it was a Kellogg product that was eventually identified
as the source of the infections.
press release , Kellogg defended itself by noting that it
did not manufacture Honey Smacks but relied on an unnamed "third party"
to produce the cereal which was then placed in Kellogg boxes and marketed
under the Kellogg brand name.
Salmonella food poisoning, what are my legal options?
Generally, if you were injured by a defective consumer product (in the
current case, Kellogg Honey Smacks), you can file a lawsuit against the
product's manufacturer (Kellogg). There are, however, certain limitations
whocan file such lawsuits.
In order to file a personal injury lawsuit you 1)
must have suffered an injury, and 2) your injury
must have been caused by the negligence of another. Let's take a closer
look at these requirements.
As to #1 you, or some family member,
must have suffered an injury. In the case of Kellogg's Honey Smacks, the
injury would be to have developed
Salmonella food poisoning. The notion that you
could have been injured is never enough to justify a personal injury lawsuit.
Assuming that you, or a family member, did suffer a
Salmonella injury, we can move on to #2.
Personal injury law presumes that everyone, from large corporations to
your next-door neighbor, will act in a way that will not cause harm to
another. If someone fails to act in such a manner, either unintentionally
or deliberately, that someone may have been
negligent and can be sued by an injured party to recover the costs of
damages suffered by the injured party. In the case of Kellogg's Honey Smacks,
the fact that
Salmonella bacteria were found in the finished product could be taken as proof of
Contacting a defective consumer product lawyer
In this post we have presented, using Kellogg's Honey Smacks as an
example, the basics of what is known as a
defective consumer product lawsuit. To successfully bring a defective product lawsuit against a large
corporation, you will need to hire a lawyer with experience in a number
of areas such as:
- investigating the unique facts of a given case
- determining who was at fault during a product's production
- arranging for expert witnesses that will testify on your behalf
- negotiating with large corporations and/or their insurance carriers
- finding a lawyer who puts the client's best interests first
One such lawyer is the defective consumer product lawyer at the Doan Law
Firm, a nationwide personal injury and defective consumer product law
practice with offices located throughout the country.
When you contact the defective consumer product lawyer at the Doan Law
Firm to arrange a free, no obligation review of your potential Kellogg's
Salmonella lawsuit, your first consultation with our firm is exactly that: free of
any charges to you and does not obligate you to hiring us as your legal
counsel. Should you later decide that our firm should manage your lawsuit,
we are willing to assume full responsibility for all aspects of preparing
your case for trial in exchange for a previously agreed-upon percentage
of the final verdict or settlement that we will win for you.