A significant proportion of the world’s population suffers from a reaction to peanut products. Not everyone has bad symptoms, but some do experience severe symptoms and could even face death in some situations.
The problem for these allergy sufferers is that peanut protein seems to have found its way into quite a number of different foodstuffs, making them basically off-limits.
Normally, the presence of peanut protein, even small amounts of it, is well advertised on the compulsory food labels on the front, back or sides of every packet of processed food sold in the U.S. Anyone with a food allergy knows where to look for the substance which could trigger illness and avoids consuming those products that do contain the allergen.
Occasionally, peanut protein is discovered in seemingly totally unexpected quantities in other food ingredients. It’s hard to see how this could be the case and why huge food companies are so disorganized that they don’t know what exactly is in the products they sell.
Just these last few days, several brands of foodstuffs containing the spice cumin have been recalled from supermarket and grocery store shelves because they have been found to have contained peanut protein. The number of cumin-containing foodstuffs that are now in the process of being recalled is rising every day and the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) which issued the recall is still not clear how widespread the contamination is.
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Recalling something you eat may seem minor compared to the recalls of defective autos like the recent GM recall of cars fitted with defective ignition switches, but it is no laughing matter if you have a severe food allergy.
The FDA has had to warn consumers that if they know they have a food allergy and start to experience severe symptoms, such as shortness of breath, hives, and swollen lips, tongue or throat that they should stop eating the food immediately. The recall has involved just about any foodstuff that contains cumin, which is a spice normally found in such things as Indian and Asian curries, and Tex-Mex style spicy food dishes.
Consumers have been warned that if they have any sort of spice-containing foodstuff at home that if they suffer from severe allergic symptoms as a result of peanut protein reaction that they should contact the manufacturer of the product to see if it contains cumin. It seems that food manufacturers and distributors do not know exactly what has been mixed with their cumin-containing products.
There is no suggestion at the moment that the cumin / peanut mix-up has definitively caused anyone any serious illness, but it is still in its early days and sometimes with these situations it takes time for the link to be made.
Poor foodstuff labeling, which results in illness or injury, could be construed as negligence. Illnesses or injuries caused by contaminated food are as bad in their own way as a defective electronic appliance that blows up in someone’s face.
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If you, or a family member, are affected by food contamination caused by negligent or insufficient labeling, you may be entitled to file a personal injury lawsuit against the food manufacturer or distributor concerned. Contact an experienced personal injury attorney such as Richard S. Jaffe Esq. of the Law Office of Cohen & Jaffe, LLP, if this situation has affected you to see what you can do.
You can contact Richard S. Jaffe for a free consultation at the Law Offices of Cohen & Jaffe LLP, 2001 Marcus Avenue, Suite W295, Lake Success, NY 11042. Phone: 516-358-6900 or toll free: 800-483-6149.