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Liability For Foreign Objects In Your Food


When we eat food, we expect that we will only find food in our food. Or at least, the items in your food that are supposed to be there. When something else is in our food that isn’t supposed to be there, the risks can be anywhere from being simply “grossed out,” to being significantly dangerous.

You may not realize it, but foreign objects in food can be a major cause of personal injury claims. There are a number of different kinds of foreign object cases, all of which can give rise to damages, and thus, liability against whoever prepared, packaged, manufactured, or sold the food to you.

Failure to Disclose

One kind of claim is where the food has nothing foreign in it at all—it’s just that the ingredients were not properly disclosed to you. A typical example is a restaurant selling a product with nuts in it, without disclosing that fact, knowing that a large percentage of the population is allergic.

This is often why waiters at restaurants will ask you if you are allergic to anything, when you first sit down at the table to eat.

Allergies aren’t the only problem. Some people, such as those with diverticulitis, can have bad reactions to certain kinds of seeds.

Being Grossed Out

The other kind of foreign object claim is where there is an item in your food that may not be dangerous, but which is repulsive, objectionable, or just plain gross. An example would be bug parts in food, or a dead animal or animal parts in your food. Certain body fluids can be harmless, but gross, but others can legitimately expose people to risk.

These kinds of cases can be difficult, because the damages may be emotional—the idea of being repelled or repulsed. Courts sometimes see these cases as being solely emotional in nature—mental trauma only. But other times, courts will allow damages, given that there was a “touching”—specifically, your mouth to the foreign object item.

Items That Shouldn’t Be There

Sometimes, something in the food is itself not dangerous—it’s just not supposed to be there. For example, imagine a pit or a seed that is in food where it’s not supposed to be. A seed, by itself, is generally harmless. But when you don’t expect it to be there, because it’s not supposed to be there, you can easily bite down on the object, often causing major damage to teeth and the jawbones.

Preserve Evidence

If you find something in your food that’s not supposed to be there, your first reaction may likely be to spit it out and throw it away. If possible, keep and preserve whatever the item is that isn’t supposed to be in your food, so your attorney and your expert witness can look it over.

Have you found foreign objects in your food? Call the Tampa personal injury attorneys at Barbas Nunez Sanders Butler & Hovsepian today. Schedule a consultation today.


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