Public Health and Mass Legal Liability Concerns Relating to Foodborne Illness Discussed at This Year's Food Industry Leadership Center Executive Forum

Oct 27, 2010, 06:36 ET from Cohen, Placitella & Roth P.C.

PHILADELPHIA, Oct. 27 /PRNewswire/ -- Many of the U.S.' largest retailers, distributors and manufacturers of food and agriculture products gathered together on October 20, 2010 to hear presentations on critical issues impacting the industry at the Food Industry Leadership Center's 16th Annual Executive Forum in Portland Oregon.  In attendance were industry experts and many executives from the leaders within the food industry such as Costco, Safeway, FritoLay, Purina, Grocery Association of America, Albertson's and many others.

Michael Coren, an attorney with the Philadelphia law firm of Cohen, Placitella & Roth P.C. provided a session to the forum's attendees on food safety and resulting legal liability issues following product recalls due to foodborne illnesses. The topics covered were illustrated through examination of two recent, wide scale nationwide product recalls, the 2009 recall of food products containing peanut butter or peanut paste sold by Peanut Corporation of America (PCA)  and the 2010 nationwide shell egg recall of over 550 million eggs. Both massive recalls followed large outbreaks of salmonella poisoning complaints in many states that FDA and CDC traced back to manufacturers or producers of the food products. The 2009 peanut butter recall led to over 3,900 products being recalled by over 200 U.S. food corporations due to a salmonella outbreak traced back to PCA's peanut butter products. The outbreak spread to over 42 states.  The shell egg recall began on August 19, 2010 and is implicated by the FDA and CDC in causing 1,813 Salmonella Enteriditis illnesses that were reported to health authorities in numerous states. 

"The lessons I hope leaders of food industry participating in the forum take away from the presentation is the importance of the entire food supply industry complying with preventive measures and policies that can help avoid these mass food poisoning outbreaks and resulting product recalls. When the need for a recall occurs, it should be addressed openly, quickly and with compassion and concern for the consumers and businesses affected by the recalled product," according to Michael Coren.

About Michael Coren

Michael Coren is a member of the law firm of Cohen, Placitella & Roth P.C., which is based in Philadelphia, PA., and Red Bank, NJ.  He frequently is involved in national and regional level mass tort or consumer injury cases involving large numbers of injured parties or potentially responsible parties. His practice focuses on representing consumers and businesses harmed by contaminated or mislabeled products.

SOURCE Cohen, Placitella & Roth P.C.