In most instances, a ready-made food product sold to customers at a gas station, for example, has passed through several hands before making its way to the consumer. As a result, the product could be contaminated during several different stages. Despite this, few people in Tennessee consider food items sold at gas stations to be dangerous products.
Unfortunately, that way of thinking may change for many following a recent outbreak of botulism in another state. Botulism is a toxin that can cause a variety of different symptoms, including paralysis and breathing difficulty; for some, it can be deadly. According to health officials, nine people were hospitalized as a result of the recent outbreak. One of them passed away as a result.
One of the victims was hospitalized for several weeks before being placed on a ventilator. He ultimately passed away after slipping into a coma. Following tests of samples obtained at a gas station, health officials believe they have identified the source of the outbreak as nacho cheese. They do not believe that there is a continuing risk to the public.
While details of the cause of outbreak are unclear, an investigation is likely looking to fully understand. If it is determined that it was the cause of negligence -- such as due to improperly cleaned equipment or dangerous food storage practices -- victims could choose to file a personal injury lawsuit against the responsible parties. People in Tennessee who have suffered as a result of dangerous products also have the option of pursuing justice through civil litigation. An attorney with experience with such cases can help these victims better understand these options.
Source: NPR, "Nacho Cheese Sauce Tainted With Botulism Kills California Man", Michaeleen Doucleff, May 23, 2017