Food Laws and Poisoning D.C. Food Poisoning Lawyer
Before the advent of food laws, there was little to no regulation on food entering the market. Fruit and vegetable farms used any methods available to sell more products, no matter the consequences.
Thankfully, this began to change in the late 19th century and early 20th century.
Upton Sinclair’s The Jungle exposed horrific working conditions in Chicago’s meatpacking industry. One chapter in the novel detailed how diseased and rotten meat were deliberately processed and mislabeled for sale. Dead rats and sawdust made their way into the city’s food supply as well.
His novel contributed to at least two food safety bills signed into law by President Theodore Roosevelt: The Meat Inspection Act of 1906, and the Pure Food and Drug Act. These laws regulate food additives, forbid misleading labels on food drugs, and led to the formation of the Food and Drug Administration. Businesses benefited, too, as citizens trusted the food more.
Since then, several laws have been passed that require companies to label their food appropriately, reduce pesticide use, and more. In 1966, for example, Congress passed the Fair Packaging and Labeling Act, which requires all consumer products in interstate commerce be honestly and informatively labeled. The consumer must be informed if a product contains chemical preservatives or raw meat.
Deceptive claims are commonplace, though, like unrealistic serving sizes, promoting a product as healthy when it is full of added sugar, and claiming that a product is natural when it is not. A product can claim it is natural as long as it started with a natural source.
Further, places that sell food must be sanitary. Otherwise, food poisoning may occur. This may happen if the food is prepared by someone with dirty hands or by unclean cooking tools, if the meat is undercooked or if the foods are not stored at proper temperature.
Food poisoning symptoms can begin anywhere from two to six hours after consumption, and can last up to 48 hours. Symptoms include fever, headache, vomiting and nausea.
Food poisoning is difficult to prove because it is hard to trace exactly what caused your illness. It can be easier if many other people become sick, though.
If you’ve suffered food poisoning from a restaurant, grocery store, or other food vendor, contact us today at (202) 955-4529 for a free case evaluation. The attorneys at Cohen & Cohen can help get you the compensation you deserve.