Law and Food Contamination

Food contamination is a serious problem affecting many consumers across the world. Although there are efforts to control the problem, it still happens in many restaurants, hotels as well as private homes. This essay examines the current law provision concerning food contamination. This is very essential because state laws, just like with other legal cases, can provide the best mechanism of guaranteeing justice to the victims through compensation and other legal means.

Food contamination often leads to food poisoning and subsequent death of the affected person. Food contamination can arise from viruses, bacteria, or toxins that get in contact with the food. A recent report by Centre for Disease Control (CDC) indicates that in United States about six to thirty-three million cases of food poisoning are reported each year. This necessitates a law provision regulating the food industry. As stated by Curtis, the Consumer Protection Act 1987 was established to protect the consumers from food contamination and poisoning. The Act requires retailers to sell only food products that are not contaminated.

Rard, states that many steps and processes are involved in getting food from the farms into the plate ready for consumption. For this reason, several different actors can be legally liable for food contamination. They may include farmers, growers, shippers, packagers, sellers as well as distributors. Actors in the food industry can be liable for different legal food contamination theories such as a defective product, breach of warranty, and negligence amongst others. It is important to prove that they particularly caused the food contamination to make any of these actors legally liable.

The 1987 Act imposes a ‘strict liability’ rule if the source of food contamination is established. However, the provision of this law does not require the culprit to prove any act of negligence. Instead, a person is required to prove that food was not safe, a person is ill, and the unsafe food was the primary cause of the illness. According to Curtis, proof of these is necessary in order to have a successful lawsuit. The culprit must have suffered symptoms of illness caused by the food contamination.

In conclusion, food contamination is a serious problem that has potential of affecting the life of millions of people. Subsequently, the state has come up with various legal provisions to protection consumers from food poisoning. Although they work on the same principles, these legal provisions may vary from country to country. The law ensures that the consumer is compensated if the offender is found liable.

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