Food Poisoning from Spoiled Food is Pretty Rare

Spoiled Food Cause Your Injuries? Look Again…

steth​We frequently get calls from prospective clients who have been harmed by foreign objects in their food or by food tainted or spoiled in some fashion. Evaluating the foreign object cases is generally less complicated. Did you bite into something that caused significant dental problems? Did you swallow something that caused considerable damage to your mouth, throat, or esophagus? Those are the type of serious cases that are worth pursuing and hiring a lawyer to handle. Short of these types of harms, however, usually the best rule of thumb when you find a foreign object in your food that hasn’t caused you any physical harm is to write a negative online review and find somewhere else to eat.

​Cases where victims have been harmed by tainted food deserve quite a bit more scrutiny and can be more difficult to prove. Obviously, cases of serious injury caused by the presence of some harmful bacteria like salmonella are worth pursuing with a lawyer. The line becomes less clear, however, when this type of smoking gun cannot be detected. What if the allegedly spoiled food is just a little past the expiration date? It turns out that even the date printed in black and white on the sides on our packaging doesn’t give us an accurate picture of when our food is actually still good to eat. In fact, according to Thrillist, most of the food in our fridge remains unspoiled and safe for consumption well after the date on the label has told us it has gone bad.

​For instance, the expiration date on milk, once noted by Seinfeld as the one true drop-dead deadline in our lives, is nowhere close to accurate- milk can stay good in the fridge 5-7 days after the date on the carton. Similarly, fresh deli meat is perfectly fine to eat 5-6 days after the printed expiration date. Even sour cream is safe for up to 10 days after the printed date.

​Other food products last even longer. Eggs can last 3-4 weeks longer than advertised in the fridge. Mayonnaise is safe to eat up to one month after conventional wisdom would say to throw it in the garbage. Beer can last up to two years longer than suggested, as well. Condiments, in particular, have shelf lives that extend for many years beyond what their expiration dates advise is safe.

​So, not only are we throwing away untold amounts of money on food that is still safe for consumption, but proving an injury caused by spoiled food just became much, much tougher.