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Why Food Safety is Important


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A speech to Colorado University dining services staff about why food safety is important features foodborne illness outbreak case studies.

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Why Food Safety is Important

  1. 1. Customers Who Get Sick Why food safety is important
  2. 2. Before We Start 20th Anniversary of Jack in the Box E. coli Outbreak "A stunningly researched work, "Poisoned" reads as though Clarence Darrow had written "The Jungle.”
  3. 3. To Put Things in Perspective • According to the CDC, microbial pathogens in food cause an estimated 48 million cases of human illness annually in the United States • 125,000 hospitalized • Cause up to 3,000 deaths
  4. 4. A Foodborne Illness Investigation
  5. 5. A Foodborne Illness Investigation If there are more ill persons than expected, an OUTBREAK might be underway
  6. 6. A Foodborne Illness Investigation
  7. 7. Strict Product Liability • Strict Liability – Are you a manufacturer? – Was the product unsafe? – Did product cause injury? • Negligence • Punitive Damages /Criminal Liability – Are you a product seller? – Did you act with conscious disregard – Did you act “reasonably”? of a known safety risk?
  8. 8. Who is a Manufacturer? A “manufacturer” is defined as a “product seller who designs, produces, makes, fabricates, constructs, or remanufactures the relevant product or component part of a product before its sale to a user or consumer.” RCW 7.72.010(2); see also Washburn v. Beatt Equipment Co., 120 Wn.2d 246 (1992)
  9. 9. It’s called STRICT Liability for a Reason • The only defense is prevention • It does not matter if you took all reasonable precautions • If you manufacture a product that makes someone sick you are going to pay • Wishful thinking does not help
  10. 10. Litigation as the other Incentive Odwalla Jack in the Box
  11. 11. Worthless Excuse No. 1 “I never read the memo.” • If a document contains damning information, the jury will assume you read it, understood it, and ignored it
  12. 12. Resources • Food Safety News • Real Raw Milk Facts • Foodborne Illness Outbreak Database • Marler Blog
  13. 13. Questions?