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Marler Blog Providing Commentary on Food Poisoning Outbreaks & Litigation

Separating the Chaff from the Wheat: How to determine the strength of a foodborne illness claim

Unfortunately, some people make suspect and unsupportable foodborne illness claims. It is important to develop a reliable method of identifying suspect, unsupportable, or illegitimate foodborne illness claims. In my experience, food industry corporations over-emphasize, and thus over react to, the presence of such claims. Such a strategy can lead to the denial of legitimate claims. Denying legitimate claims increases the likelihood of missing important measures to improve food safety. Not improving food safety increases the risk of poisoning consumers and resulting litigation. Litigation not only carries its own expenses, but the threat of public relations headaches as well.
In a paper I wrote for the Defense Research Institute (DRI) for an upcoming speech at their conference on foodborne illness claims, I discuss how to evaluate whether a claim is legitimate:

Separating the Chaff from the Wheat: How to determine the strength of a foodborne illness claim