Food manufacturing giant Del Monte has recently issued a voluntary recall on some of its vegetable trays. According to the United States Food and Drug Administration, some of Del Monte’s vegetable trays may have been contaminated with a microscopic parasite called Cyclospora cayetanensis. Individuals who ingest this parasite may suffer intestinal complications.
According to the FDA website, Kwik Trip and Kwik Star retailers in Wisconsin, Minnesota, Michigan, Indiana, and Iowa sold the contaminated food trays, which came in two sizes: 6 ounces and 12 ounces. These trays contained carrots, cauliflower, and broccoli. A dill dip was also included in the trays. In Illinois and Indiana, 28-ounce trays that included cauliflower, celery, carrots, and broccoli (along with the dill dip) have also been recalled.
The FDA and Del Monte are still trying to determine which specific food item in the tray was contaminated with the parasite.
By June 15, 2018, 78 individuals who consumed the Del Monte veggie trays had been diagnosed with cyclosporiasis, the illness that develops after Cyclospora cayetanensis infection.
The affected vegetable trays were sold at several retailers. In addition to Kwik Trip and Kwik Star, consumers purchased them at Potash, Sentry, Demond’s, Country Market, Meehan’s, Peapod, and FoodMax Supermarket. The products list June 17, 2018, as their “Best If Enjoyed By” expiration date.
How does the parasite affect humans?
Cyclospora cayetanensis contaminates water and food. Once it is ingested, it may cause cyclosporiasis. After it has been excreted through the bowels, it may take a few days or weeks for it to infect another individual. Experts do not believe that the parasite is passed directly between individuals.
Once someone ingests the parasite, a number of symptoms may develop. These symptoms include weight loss, stomach cramps, stomach pain, gas, fatigue, nausea, loss of appetite, and diarrhea (which may be explosive). Flu-like symptoms, such as fever, body aches, headaches, and vomiting have also been reported in some cases. Many individuals with cyclosporiasis report that their symptoms come and go several times before they recover.
I have a Del Monte veggie tray in my fridge. What should I do?
According to the FDA, you should immediately throw away any Del Monte veggie trays that meet the description listed above.
You may also reduce your risk of foodborne illness by cleaning out your refrigerator. You should wipe down all surfaces with a water and bleach solution and dry them with a clean towel or paper towel. You should clean your cutting boards, countertops, and other food preparation surfaces in the same manner. Be sure to thoroughly wash your hands after you complete this process.
I ate a Del Monte vegetable tray and became ill, what should I do?
If you or a member of your family have become ill after consuming a Del Monte vegetable tray, you should consult an experienced products liability attorney as soon as possible to discuss your experience and learn about your legal options.
All manufacturers, including food manufacturers, have a duty to provide products that are safe for consumption. If the products these manufacturers release to the public are not safe, they may be liable in a products liability claim.
Products liability claims are not negligence claims. Therefore, consumers do not have to prove that a manufacturer was negligent in a products liability claim. In a products liability claim, an injured consumer must show:
- The product was being used as directed or as anticipated by the manufacturer;
- The product had a defect;
- The consumer was injured;
- The consumer was injured because the product was defective.
The consumer must provide evidence of each of these elements. Without proof of one of the elements, the claim will fail and will be dismissed. When a case is dismissed, the plaintiff (the person who files the claim) does not receive any type of compensation from the other party. Therefore, consumers who do not prevail in a products liability lawsuit are wholly responsible for the financial losses they have suffered. Because a dismissal can have devastating consequences on an injured consumer, it is best to hire an attorney as soon as possible after suffering an injury.
Three types of defects may be present in a product:
- Design defects
- Manufacturing defects
- Marketing defects
Design defects are those that are present before a product is ever created or assembled. Because of the way the product is designed, it is inherently faulty. For example, consider a tire that was designed unknowingly with a type of rubber that is weak. If the tire blows and causes injuries, this would be an example of a design defect.
Manufacturing defects occur during the assembly or distribution of a product. Consider a shipment of food items that become overheated on a truck when its cooling system malfunctions, allowing bacteria to form. Because this occurs as the products are being transported, it is an example of a manufacturing defect.
Marketing defects occur when a company provides inadequate warnings or instructions with a product. For example, consider a food item that has nuts in it, a major allergen. If the manufacturer does not include nuts on its packaging or labeling, and someone with a nut allergy consumes it, that individual may be able to file a products liability lawsuit based on a marketing defect.
A single product may contain multiple defects, or it may contain just one type of defect. An experienced products liability attorney will identify the defects in a product and begin compiling evidence to show proof of those defects.
What type of compensation may I be entitled to?
If you succeed in your products liability claim, you may be entitled to several different types of damages. The types of compensation available in a claim vary depending on the facts of the case. Damages may include:
- Lost wages
- Medical expenses
- The estimated cost of future medical care
- Pain and suffering
- Emotional distress
- Loss of consortium
- Loss of employment benefits
- If a death has occurred, burial and funeral expenses may be claimed, as well as the estimated value of the deceased’s future earnings
Additional types of compensation may also be possible. Your attorney will identify all available types of damages to ensure you receive the maximum amount of compensation available under the law.
How can I help my attorney?
The attorney-client relationship is a partnership. Your attorney needs information from you to fully advocate on your behalf, and you need your attorney’s expertise in the legal field to recover compensation. The following actions will help your attorney make your case as strong as possible:
- Submitting all requested documentation in an expeditious manner
- Providing a timeline of your medical history
- Providing the names of any witnesses who have knowledge about your case
- Returning all emails and phone calls in a timely manner
- Keeping your attorney up to date on your medical treatment and diagnoses
- Most importantly—being honest
These practices will significantly help your case.
Call Parker Waichman LLP Today to Schedule a Free Consultation
At Parker Waichman LLP, our Del Monte Veggie Tray lawsuit attorneys are experienced in products liability claims and are ready to discuss your case. To schedule a free consultation to learn about your legal options, call our office at 1-800-YOURLAWYER (1-800-968-7529) today.
New York | Brooklyn | Queens | Long Island | New Jersey | Florida
Call us at: 1-800-YOURLAWYER (800-968-7529) | Schedule your free consultation
Did you or a member of your family develop Cyclospora Cayetanensis after eating from a Del Monte Veggie Tray?Click To Get A Free Case Review