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Products liability news: Sargento cuts the fat from its operation

Twice during the month of February, Sargento Foods, Inc., one of the country's largest cheesemakers, issued recalls for certain varieties of its cheeses sold here in Pennsylvania and throughout the country. The recalls were necessary due to the threat of listeria contamination from one of its suppliers. Now, perhaps in an effort to avoid further potential products liability issues, the company has cut off ties with the supplier it believes caused the issue.

The recall required the removal of several of the company's cheeses from store shelves across the country, including here in Pennsylvania. All of the cheeses affected by the recall were packaged at the same facility as the longhorn colby cheese that will no longer be supplied to the company by Deutsche Kase Haus. The listeria contamination originated at that company.

Listeria monocytogenes would not necessarily cause serious health issues for everyone, but certain groups with compromised immune systems, pregnant women and elderly people could suffer dangerous health consequences. Infected individuals could suffer from diarrhea or other gastrointestinal problems, muscle aches and fever. To illustrate how dangerous the infection could be, the CDC reports that, of the approximately 1,600 cases per year here in the United States, 260 of them end in death. 

This bacteria is of great concern in the food industry. Food manufacturers, processors and distributors are required to provide consumers with safe products free from these types of potential health hazards. If a contaminated product is not removed from store shelves quickly, someone could suffer serious or fatal consequences. Anyone in Pennsylvania who believes a food product exposed him or her to a potentially lethal bacteria might consider filing a products liability claim against those responsible for it ending up in the kitchen.

Source: fox40.com, "Cheesemaker Sargento Cuts Supplier After Product Recall", Feb. 23, 2017

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