The Food Standards Agency (FSA) fulfils a very important role within the UK. An independent government department, the organisation strives to ensure that food produced in this country is fit for human consumption. Moreover, it also collaborates with local authorities to make sure that, following a breach of relevant legislation, appropriate enforcement action is carried out.
The FSA's actions have undoubtedly helped prevent many people from suffering adverse affects through poor hygiene standards. However, the organisation still deals with numerous cases every year.
For example, in 2011, the FSA investigated more than 1,700 incidents. When compared with statistics taken from the previous year, this demonstrates that the number of cases handled by the organisation increased by 14%.
These incidents included such cases as genetically modified rice – a prohibited product – entering the UK, illegal use of pesticides, as well as whistleblowers informing the organisation about inadequate food safety procedures.
However, although these cases are certainly important, it seems one of the FSA's greatest challenges involved microbiological contamination. In 2011, the FSA investigated 281 of these incidents – perhaps detecting a range of organisms such as campylobacter, E. coli, and salmonella.
In fact, that year, the FSA issued a warning about salmonella contamination from paan leaves after 79 cases were reported to the organisation.
Fortunately, in most cases, the signs of salmonella poisoning are not serious. Sufferers may experience symptoms such as a fever, diarrhoea, headaches and vomiting, and will normally recover within seven days.
The salmonella organism usually resides in the gut of animals and is often passed onto humans through faeces or after someone eats food contaminated with the bacteria. Although cases of salmonella can occur in the home, the incidents investigated by the FSA likely took place within retail or food manufacturing establishments.
Therefore, in order to prevent individuals from developing salmonella poisoning, employers in these professions should ensure that staff members are always following adequate food hygiene practices.
For example, workers should regularly wash their hands before and after preparing food, ensure uncooked meats are kept separate from other products, and make sure cooking utensils are washed thoroughly.
Failure to do so could result in a customer developing an illness. Potentially, this could result in an FSA investigation, as well as legal action if a sufferer attempts to make a salmonella poisoning claim.
Salmonella poisoning claims through Seth Lovis & Co
If you were adversely affected by salmonella and the incident was not your fault, you may be entitled to claim food poisoning compensation through Seth Lovis & Co's team of experienced solicitors.
Our law firm, based in the heart of London, has helped numerous sufferers claim compensation following the negligent actions of a third party – and you might be able to benefit as well.
Please complete an online enquiry form or contact us today on 0370 218 4025 to find out more information about our services.