Food Safety Enforcement – The Government Responsibility

A law 7According to the Codex Alimentarius Commission of the United Nations, a food is regarded as safe “If it doesn’t cause harm to the consumer when prepared and/or eaten according to its intended use”. This entails that food should be free from contaminants, adulterants, naturally occurring toxins and all those substances which might have adverse effects on human health. Right from the earliest days of human existence, access to good quality food, in particular safe food has been one of the most pressing and critical questions for the mankind. Through centuries of ignorance, experience and trial-and-error methodology, we have learnt that safe food is not just a fundamental precondition for human survival but is also inherently and indispensably linked with social, economic and ethical facets of our lives. Today, nations all around the world acknowledge that without surety of the safe food, prosperity in its collective sense is a far cry. Based on such concrete conclusions, it is now of utmost importance that we augment our understanding regarding the current world scenario and re-evaluate our strategic approach that will be required to unknot the complexities of providing safer and healthier food to every human being in the world.

Over the last few decades, the question of ensuring adequate food safety standards has evolved into a much more complicated problem with a series of interconnected factors to be considered.

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Ignoring Or Not Being Aware Of Nutrition Law Is Not An Excuse

If you’re driving down the street in a 25 miles per hour zone at a rate of 40 miles per hour then it is safe to say that you are breaking the law. Does it matter if you knew or not that you were breaking the law? In a court of law you will be punished the same way which is why your actions would more than likely result in a ticket if you were detained by a traffic-enforcement officer.

This illustration was used to help you understand that nature has laws that are in the best interest of man to follow. When you take inorganic substances and put them into the organic vessel known as your body then you are in direct violation of several health laws. It does not matter if you know that you are in violation of certain laws or not, the outcome will remain the same. If you partake in activities such as smoking cigarettes then it’s a great chance that you will have some form of lung, throat or chest ailment at some point over the course of your life. It’s not guaranteed but the probability increases with each insalubrious act.

A law 2Here is where people are confused. People mistake a person “being good” with a person following natural health laws. I’m sure you know people who were the nicest people but yet they were plagued with diseases that eventually claimed their lives or the quality of their life. Then you have those who are not known as “good people” but they have youthful appearances and are considered healthy by normal standards because they consume loads of nutrient rich foods, herbs and other vitamins.

It is important for you to glean my next sentence. You can be the nicest person on earth and be known for doing every good deed known to mankind but if you are not eating and living in accordance with nature you will be sick. There is no other way to say it.

Eating fried foods, refined foods and sugar laced products will prove to be harmful to your state of health. You must approach the laws of nature just as you would the law of electricity or the law of gravity. We know not for certain how these laws function but they have a great impact on all life forms that exist today so we must respect them. If you do not believe in gravity simply jump out of an airplane with no parachute and let me know how that turns out. If you do not believe in the law of electricity just hang on to a live wire that has fallen during a rainstorm. You will probably cease to exist if you are so brazen as to carry out these acts.

If you have an option to be edified or not regarding the laws of nature and health then it is better to be edified. When you know something you are well equipped to make an educated decision. For example, if you do not know that meat and milk both help cause osteoporosis then you will continue to eat meat and be surprised when you are diagnosed with arthritic bones and osteoporosis. Study and gain knowledge but above all gain understanding on nutrition because ignorance of health laws will not keep disease from showing up at your doorstep.

How Are You Protected By Law From Food Poisoning – Legal Claim

Anyone who prepares food for others, especially those who do so on a commercial basis, has a duty of care to make and serve food that is both nutritionally acceptable, as well as considered to be fit for human consumption. Any food that is contaminated in anyway such as with glass or metal particles, or with vermin feces or parts, or food that has been poisoned or improperly stored or prepared is dangerous to the health of anyone who would consume it, and is classified as not fit for human consumption. Sometimes it is not as obvious as to why or how the food has become tainted so a review by a trained professional may be required in order to assign liability.

Failing to take certain precautions and uphold this duty could result in legal liability for those who suffer harm. This includes paying for medical expenses, a loss of income, pain and suffering, as well as any future medical bills associated with the illness, or permanent disabilities.

Victims of food poisoning do not have to prove that the person who served the food knew it was harmful, however if any employee knew of a potential problem and did not stop the food from being served, this information could prove quite helpful in a food poisoning lawsuit.

When to File a Legal Claim, and When Not To

Just because you got sick from eating food that came from a commercial establishment does not mean that you have grounds for a lawsuit, or that you should file a lawsuit. If for example, you have experienced a day or two of intestinal or stomach problems that left you a bit dehydrated, but no worse for wear, you do not really have a viable claim. Even if you still wanted to file such a claim, the benefit would not outweigh the costs, and most attorneys would not feel as though the potential damages recouped would be worthwhile.

For the most part, the majority of food poisoning cases resolve on their own, without medical intervention in a matter of a couple of days. These types of cases, if you must pursue them, could be filed in a small claims court, to seek minimal damages. That being said, if you have been severely poisoned, resulting in hospital bills, a loss of income for a month or more, permanent health problems such as muscle or nerve damage, or even a death has resulted, you have grounds for a much more serious legal claim.

Actions to Take if Food Poisoning is Suspected

A law 4If you suspect that you have been poisoned by eating food at a commercial outlet, the first thing you should do is seek medical attention. For the most part, symptoms that appear within a short period of time after eating the food are indicative of food poisoning. While it may be difficult because the restaurant will not save it for you, you should try to preserve some of the food if possible for use as evidence later. If it is found that the food poisoning is more serious in nature, the victim or his or her family or friends should contact a personal injury attorney who specializes in food poisoning as soon as possible. These professionals know how to secure evidence that will be needed at a later date, as well as obtain statements from witnesses and employees right away, before memories fade over time.

If you suspect food poisoning almost immediately after consuming the food, or even while still at the commercial outlet, you may want to talk to the employees yourself to find out if they knew about the issue, or have had other similar problems. You may be surprised by how much information you can obtain in this fashion. This type of information can help a great deal should you end up pursuing a legal claim. Not only that, anyone who was served the same food should write down exactly what they ate, as it will be important down the road and they may not remember later on. This helps to establish a strong case for the source of the contaminated food.

What to Do If You Experience Food Poisoning on Vacation

Should you fall ill while eating food on vacation, look for a personal injury attorney locally; do not wait until you are home. If you fall ill while on a cruise ship or at a resort, it is not likely that the staff or management will admit fault, and they will claim you are ill for another reason. That being said, if a large number of people on the same ship or at the same resort fall ill, then it is quite obvious the food is to blame. If the extent of the illness is not severe, a free trip, or free meals may be issued for compensation. There are no laws governing how much compensation should be given, however.

When to Hire an Attorney

If your case of food poisoning exceeds a small amount that would be handled in a small claims court, it is wise to contact a personal injury attorney of Consumer Law Network,¬†who specializes in this area of the law. Since a restaurant’s livelihood is based upon their reputation, do not expect an admission of guilt easily. This is where an attorney can come in quite handy. He or she is skilled in documentation and investigation into these types of claims and can easily obtain required information.