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E.Coli In Romaine Lettuce Harvested In California (Can You Sue For Product Liability If It Was Recalled?)

On Behalf of | Nov 23, 2018 | Product Liability

If you were saddened by last week’s statement from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention warning U.S. consumers against eating romaine lettuce because of the E.coli contamination, rejoice. The CDC has clarified that romaine lettuce is safe to eat as long as was not harvested in California.

On Nov. 20, the CDC made quite a few Americans spit out their salads when it warned them to avoid romaine lettuce at all costs. The statement was released following reports that 43 people in the U.S. and 22 people in Canada were sickened by E.coli contamination, which was later found in romaine lettuce.

On Nov. 26, the CDC revised its original warning to clarify that U.S. consumers now need only stay away from lettuce originating from California’s Central Coast region. The CDC has found no indication that lettuce produced in Arizona, Florida, or Mexico was affected by the outbreak of Shiga toxin-producing E. coli.

E.Coli In Romaine Lettuce And Labeling

So if you lost your sleep over the original recall by the CDC or ate nothing since Nov. 20, you are safe to enjoy your favorite lettuce in a salad but only as long as you check labels to find out where the lettuce was grown and produced. “If the lettuce was harvested in Arizona, Florida, or Mexico, you are safe to eat it,” says our California product liability attorney at Licata & Yeremenko, A Professional Law Corporation.

But here is the biggest conundrum. Unlike manufactured products, which come with serial numbers, romaine lettuce and other fresh produce are sold with no serial numbers or labels, making it practically impossible to trace where the product was harvested, grown, and produced.

This is the main reason why the Food and Drug Administration issued a statement requiring producers and sellers of romaine lettuce and other leafy greens to provide clear marking of harvest region and the date of harvest in order to ensure that U.S. consumers can trace the product and prevent contamination.

Since not that many bags or packages of romaine lettuce have labels or markings to indicate harvest region and the date of harvest, our experienced defective product lawyer in California warns Americans against buying romaine lettuce if you are not sure where and when it was harvested. After all, you would not want to be consuming E.coli-contaminated romaine lettuce harvested in California.

Does A Recall Bar You From Filing A Product Liability Lawsuit?

But let’s imagine, God forbid, that you have been sickened by E.coli-contaminated romaine lettuce or any other product that has been recalled by the CDC. Does the recall limit the manufacturer’s liability? Does the recall bar you from bringing a product liability lawsuit against the manufacturer?

“That depends on a variety of factors,” says our California defective product attorney at Licata & Yeremenko, A Professional Law Corporation. These factors include but are not limited to:

  • Why the product was recalled in the first place.
  • Who initiated the recall.
  • Whether or not the manufacturer has taken any action.
  • How quickly that action has been taken by the manufacturer.
  • The severity of injuries or illness.
  • Whether or not the contamination or other problem with the product was preventable.
  • Whether or not the manufacturer, producer, or harvester was in any way negligent.

Have you been injured or otherwise harmed by a defective product or contaminated food? Schedule a free consultation with our attorneys from Licata & Yeremenko, A Professional Law Corporation. Speak about the cases to learn your options for recovering damages by calling at 818-783-5757.