The Chicago Personal Injury Law Blog

Nestle's Nesquick Recalled for Salmonella: Not Their Fault?

Another day, another food recall, right? Today, Nestle USA announced a recall of Nesquick chocolate powder because of a possible salmonella contamination, reports FOX Chicago. Apparently, Nestle's supplier of calcium carbonate issued it's own recall, which had a domino effect on Nestle's chocolaty drink.

This recall seems to be especially important to pay attention to, as Nesquick is marketed to children. Salmonella is especially dangerous to those with compromised or undeveloped immune systems, including the elderly, pregnant women, and of course, young children. Symptoms include diarrhea, abdominal cramps, and fever.

The recalled products have a "Best if sold by" date of October 2014. The 10.9, 21.8, and 40.7 ounce containers are affected. Customers should return it to the store for a refund or call Nestle at (800) 628-7679.

Though there have been no reports of illness associated with the recall, the widespread availability of Nesquick does make one wonder how many people will eventually be affected. The more affected parties, the more likely it is to develop into a class action lawsuit.

One question to ponder is whether the presence of salmonella in a food product is still sufficient proof of a party's negligence. Prior to the past few years, tainted food products were far more rare. Today, it seems that there is a new outbreak every week.

Food producers are held to the standard of the reasonable producer. The standard is not perfection - it is simply taking reasonable measures to ensure safety. As food borne illness increases (44 percent increase in the last two years), one wonders when the standard will be "not too many recalls" instead of "no recalls."

One also wonders how quickly Nestle's lawyers are running towards the courthouse. Their recall was precipitated by another company's recall (and possibly negligent conduct in producing the tainted calcium). The relatively anonymous supplier produces a defective good and Nestle's household name gets the backlash and the lawsuits. Of course, should a lawsuit happen, Nestle could always file for indemnity and stick the supplier with the bill.

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