A local Hawai’i food producer, May’s Hawaii, recently recalled around 3,600 pounds of raw chicken products due to fear of contamination. While there have yet to be any reported health issues related to consumption of the chicken, the recall and the possible cause of contamination do demonstrate how easily consumers can be harmed by simple mistakes.
How was the food contaminated?
According to a news release from the U.S.. Department of Agriculture’s Food Safety and Inspection Service (FSIS) on December 20, a distributor for the company discovered boxes of May’s Hawai’i “Hawaiian Style, Boneless and Skinless Teriyaki Chicken Thighs” swollen from gases inside the packaging.
Each cardboard box contained four sealed packages of the raw, frozen chicken product. The fact that the the boxes were swollen presumably indicates that the product was allowed to thaw somewhere in the distribution chain, causing serious risks to any consumer who failed to cook the product thoroughly.
Was it recalled quickly enough?
The December 20 news release explained that neither the FSIS or the company had received any reports of problems from consumers. This hopefully means that the product was recalled before it could cause any harm. However, it is worth noting that the products were produced in October and November and then distributed to a range of retailers on the islands of Oahu, Kauai and Maui, as well as to a commissary in the area.
The lack of reports of health issues related to this product could mean that not all boxes were affected by temperature issues during distribution or that consumers who did purchase contaminated bags threw them away or cooked them at a high enough temperature to kill whatever bacteria were present.
One small mistake can have grave consequences
If the final tally indicates that no consumers were harmed it will be a lucky thing, both for the public and for the manufacturer of the product. Consumer rights ensure that when a person is harmed through the negligence of a business or manufacturer, he or she has the option of pursuing a personal injury case.
Faulty products and tainted drug and food supplies can lead to serious injury and death, wreaking havoc on unsuspecting consumers. This particular May’s Hawaii recall demonstrates just how easy it is to put consumers at serious risk. It only takes one person making a single mistake to destroy lives. We can hope that May’s Hawaii will take a serious look at its distribution chain to ensure that all involved are meeting the mark in safety.
If you or a loved one have been hurt or injured by a faulty product, you may have legal recourse. Contact Davis Levin Livingston to find out more.