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Marler Blog Providing Commentary on Food Poisoning Outbreaks & Litigation
  • Doc Mudd

    Your basic standards for accepting a legal case, particularly that the incident must have been investigated by a health department and laboratory testing must have been undertaken, suggest an important and practical consumer protection modality of remarkable simplicity.
    Since involvment of a health department is the first step toward justice, what a bold and reassuring statement of the “small” purveyor’s confidence in his/her food product If valid local & regional health department contact information were prominently displayed on farmers markets signage, on all pamphlets & brochures, at each farmer’s booth and on all packaging! Consumers would have, at their fingertips, the minimum info to protect their families – info provided by vendors who would now appear to care and who would appear to be part of the local solution to food safety instead of part of the national problem.
    Supplement the contact info with purchase receipts that fully document the food purchase; receipts with ample information to guide any health department investigation, and consumers might have a fighting chance of defending themselves in exempt, unregulated food markets where caveat emptor is the rule of law.
    Now, that is simple, straight-forward labeling that guides a consumer to conscienciously follow up on a food safety problem.
    As it is now, most ‘small’ incidents are never reported to a health department, are never investigated and are never recorded as having even occurred – the result is a mistaken appearance that everything is wonderfully ‘safe’ because there are no reports of illness. Simply providing valid local contact information at point of sale could vastly improve our knowledge of food safety.