In a massive meat recall, a company in Petaluma, California is recalling more than 8.7 million pounds of beef products.
According to federal officials, the company processed diseased and unhealthy animals without adequate inspection. Without a full inspection, the products are unfit for human consumption.
But how do you know if you've been affected? And if so, how do you know if you need a lawyer?
Eighteen Rancho Feeding Corp. products are being recalled. They include beef carcasses, oxtail, liver, cheeks, tripe, tongue and veal bones, reports San Francisco's KGO-TV.
The products were processed from Jan. 1, 2013, through Jan. 7, 2014, and shipped to distribution centers and retail stores in California, Florida, Illinois and Texas. The boxes of product are marked "EST. 527" inside the USDA mark of inspection. Each box bears the case code number ending in "3" or "4."
For additional details on the recalled items, review the U.S. Food Safety and Inspection Service's press release on the recall.
When Would You Need a Lawyer?
Fortunately, there have been no reports of illnesses. However, a Class I recall -- the most serious type of recall -- was still issued because some of the affected products could still be frozen and in storage. If consumed, these products can cause serious illness.
If you're badly sickened from contaminated meat, your first step should be to seek immediate medical attention. Next, figure out what exactly made you sick. If you believe the recalled meat was the root cause of your illness and you suffered injuries because of it -- for example, medical costs, lost wages, and pain and suffering -- pursuing legal action may be in your best interest.
An experienced products liability attorney can consider all aspects of your case and advise you on whether a lawsuit is a viable option in your specific situation. A lawyer will also know how much time you have to file your claim, and whether a class action may be appropriate in your particular food-poisoning case.