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Experts believe that tainted cantaloupe caused death and injury

Nashville shoppers assume that the food they purchase will be safe to consume. Food safety organizations help ensure that the manufacturing plants and growing operations follow strict protocol in order to keep consumers safe, but actions that fall outside those guidelines can create dangerous situations for buyers.

In 2011 a case was brought against cantaloupe growers who were allegedly responsible for the deaths of over 30 people and the illnesses suffered by nearly 150 others. According to court documents, the growers failed to wash their fruit with an anti-microbial solution even though they knew that there was a possibility that their fruit was contaminated. As it turned out, the cantaloupe did contain harmful listeria bacteria.

In an unprecedented move, the cantaloupe growers, who happen to be brothers, are currently facing the possibility of 6 years in prison if convicted of criminal charges connected to their alleged failure to follow industry standards by properly cleaning the fruit. Although this appears to be the first criminal case of its kind, since 1938 food legislation has made it unlawful to sell contaminated goods.

It is likely that the growers must also face many wrongful death cases filed by the family of those who died from eating the polluted fruit. Individuals who have been injured by a dangerous product have the right to file a civil lawsuit and seek compensation for damages endured. Doing so with the assistance of a knowledgeable product liability attorney may be a better way to present a stronger case against manufacturers that may have harmed you or a loved one.

Source: Produce Retailer, "UPDATED: Jensens face federal criminal charges in cantaloupe case," Sept. 26, 2013

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