Europe E. Coli Outbreak Highlights Importance of Food Safety

An outbreak of Escherichia coli in Germany that has killed many and sickened thousands is highlighting the importance for food safety in the United States, according to news reports.

The deadly food poisoning outbreak has so far killed 22 people and made 2,333 people sick in Germany so far. While officials have named sprouts and cucumbers as suspects, they have not been able to find out what is the direct culprit of the deadly bacteria.

“The European outbreak ‘is a good example of where food safety as a scientific matter is an enormously dynamic challenge. The bacteria themselves change, we know that the food system changes, the way food is produced changes.’ And FDA needs to be able keep on top of the changes,” the FDA Deputy Commissioner for Foods said to news reports.

The United States has some measures in place to protect consumers from tainted food, including the U.S. Food Safety Modernization Act. Passed last year, the law gives FDA the authority to, among other things, focus more on preventing outbreaks than reacting to them, both locally and abroad. It also gives the agency new power to detain food that officials suspect of containing harmful pathogens. But so far, it hasn’t been funded.

As a Seattle personal injury attorney, I’m saddened to hear about this massive E. coli outbreak in Europe. I hope investigators can soon figure out the culprit of this illness.

While we don’t handle this type of food recall we feel that it’s important to educate the community that there has been a recall to help protect your safety. If you have been injured in a recall like this you might wish to contact a Seattle personal injury lawyer who can help.