This essay analyzes recent legal issues, laws,and decisions that will positively impact the reduction of Food Borne Illness outbreaks in the future. It provides some basic food-borne illness facts and statistics. It provides highlights of the issues, causes, effects, preventions and some history of food borne illness legislation. Additionally, it addresses the thirty-five primary statutes that regulate food safety in conjunction with the activities of Federal, State and Local agencies related to the illnesses. It highlights the most significant recent legislation that made a major forward step in improving the foodborne illness problem, the 2011 FSMA (The Food Safety Modernization Act) as well as recent amendments to food statutes in 2017.
Although the recommendation of experts were included in the 2011 FSMA, which gave the FDA a Congressional mandate as the coordinating entity, and although the system was reorganized and integrated, the shortage of federal, state and local funding still left the system deficient and short of personnel. It therefore becomes incumbent upon individual Food Managers and Chefs, according to some experts, to take the responsibility for food safety upon themselves if sustained improvement is to be achieved. That still makes foodborne illness prevention a daunting task and problem, as most individuals tend to be selfish and self-centered, not humanitarian, charitable or pro bono. Fortunately, everything is relative. The United States still has the third highest food safety record in the world, a position it shares with the United Kingdom. Finally, the essay addresses the present covid-19 global pandemic, which originally started as a food-borne transmission from unsanitary open-air wet-markets in Wuhan, China. Contaminated food from those wet-markets infected local Chinese who travelled from Wuhan and infected the rest of the world. The grossly negligent legal status of China to the rest of the world will be discussed and the alleged financial behind-the-scenes repercussions for China will be touched on.
Basic Food-Borne Illness Facts
The three primary types of food-borne illnesses are norovirus, salmonella and Ecoli, (Andalaro, 2012) and covid-19 started as a food-borne illness. Norovirus, as its name suggests, is a virus that causes the Norovirus food-borne illness. The other three are caused by bacteria. Covid-19 causes pneumonia-type symptoms and is a very much more serious illness. The primary food-borne illnesses (the first three of the four mentioned above) cause inflammation of the stomach or intestines, sometimes called gastroenteritis, or loosely, stomach flu. They are all highly contagious and are typically spread through contaminated food or water. One can also catch it by touching a contaminated surface, and then touching one’s face where the germs would be ingested thus getting one sick. You can also get it from close contact with an infected person.
So the causes of norovirus and other food-borne illnesses are eating contaminated food, drinking, contaminated water, touching your mouth or nose with your hands after they come in contact with a contaminated surface or object, and being in close contact with a person who has the infection. The most common symptoms of norovirus and other food-borne infections are diarrhea, nausea, vomiting, and stomachache. Other symptoms might be fever, headache, or general pain in the body (CDC, 2018). There is no specific medicine to treat norovirus infection, but there are antibiotics that can be used to treat the other three bacterial infections. Medications are generally only used, however, on those severely ill patients who have to be hospitalized. Treatment for the majority of people includes rest and drinking plenty of fluids to prevent dehydration. So the body generally has to heal itself.
The following are the risk factors for becoming infected by food-borne diseases. Eating in a place where food is handled improperly, attending a preschool or child/care center, living in enclosed spaces such as nursing homes for the elderly and convalescents, staying in hotels, resorts, cruise ships,or other destinations with many people in closed spaces, and having contact with someone who has the disease. Cruise ships get the most media attention, but they actually only account for 1% of the cases. Infected food industry workers cause about 70% of reported food contaminated food-borne illness outbreak (CDC, 2018).
There are specific issues that relate to salmonella and Ecoli because of their contamination of chicken in particular and also meat (Business Wire, 2018). All chicken in its raw state, as well as raw meat, is contaminated with Ecoli and salmonella. It is the job of processing plants and the health authorities to keep the concentration of the bacteria at a manageable level. When that manageable level is exceeded, then the librium is broken and outbreaks occur. The Department of Agriculture has created a Salmonella Action Plan, which involves updating the poultry slaughter inspection system and enhancing sampling and testing programs for poultry and meat. The plan’s purpose is to cut the number of Salmonella infections in the United States. The precedent-setting $6.5 million verdicts against Foster Poultry Farms should help coerce all chicken processing plants to clean up their act, stop hiding behind FDA certification and do a better job in food safety.
One can also take care to avoid spreading bacteria to others. Preventive methods are especially important when preparing food or providing care for infants, older adults,and people with weakened immune systems. Be sure to cook food thoroughly and refrigerate or freeze food promptly. Washing your hands thoroughly can help prevent the transfer of salmonella bacteria to your mouth or to any food you are preparing. Wash your hands after you use the toilet, change a diaper, handling raw meat or poultry, clean up pet feces, or touch reptiles or birds (CDC, 2018). To prevent cross-contamination in private kitchens and restaurant kitchens store raw meat, poultry,and seafood away from other foods in your refrigerator or freezer. If possible use two separate cutting boards in kitchens, one for raw meats and the other for fruits and vegetables. Never place cooked food on an unwashed plate that previously held raw meat. Avoid eating raw eggs that are used in cookie dough, homemade ice cream,and eggnog. If you must consume raw eggs, make sure they are pasteurized (CDC, 2018).
Basic Statistics on Food-Born Illnesses
Norovirus the number one food-borne illness is said to affect 19 to 21 million Americans each year, causing 900 deaths mostly among adults aged 65 years and older (CDC, 2020). Additionally it causes 109,000 hospitalizations, 465,000 emergency room visits, mostly in young children, and 2,270,000 out patient visits annually, mostly in young children. Only the common cold is reported more frequently than norovirus. Recent CDC estimates are that Salmonella bacteria causes 1.35 million infections, 26,500 hospitalizations and 420 death in the United States every year (CDC, 2019). Food is the source for most of these illnesses. An estimated 73,480 illnesses due to Ecoli 0157 infections occur each year in the United States, leading to an estimated 2,168 hospitalizations and 61 deaths annually, and it is an important cause of acute rental (kidney) failure in children (Rangel, 2005). The coronavirus (covid-19) disease continues to spread around the world, with over 68 million cases and over 1.5 million deaths as of December 9, 2020 (Elflein, 2020). The United States has been the worst affected with 14,823,129 cases as of December 9, 2020 with 282,785 deaths (Elflein, 2020).
The Current Federal, State, and Local Government Legal Food Safety Situation
The copy of The Constitution of the United States of America that I have which includes Amendments to The U.S Constitution does not seem to contain any legal or other references to food-borne illnesses or any other health-related issues. Other than the very vague term “promote the general welfare,” no other reference seems to exist in the U.S Constitution that specifically addresses any health issue.
The regulations and programs of state and local (including tribal and territorial) governments have been a strong component of the U.S food safety system for the past century. Their key regulatory programs in food safety address food and public health surveillance as well as food inspection and analysis. The U.S Food and Drug Administration (FDA) is responsible for more than 156,008 domestic food facilities (FDA, 2010), more than 1 million food establishments (including restaurants and retail establishments), and more than 2 million farms (Marity, 2009). The USDA (U.S Department of Agriculture) regulates meat, poultry and processed egg products.
FDA’s origins can be traced back to the analysis of agricultural products in the U.S Patent Office around 1848, a function that was transferred to the USDA upon its creation in 1862. The FDA became known by that name in 1930 and was transferred to the Federal Security Agency in 1940, which became the Department of Health, education and Welfare in 1953. Although the FDA is the oldest and most comprehensive food safety agency in the federal government, food safety programs in the states are also of long standing. For example, Florida enacted a food law in 1905, a year prior to passage of the 1906 Pure Food and Drugs Act. Even before that, Massachusetts passed the first general food law in 1784, and in 1850 California enacted “a pure food and drink law” (Durby, 1993). In the United States there are currently 35 primary statutes that regulate food safety along with the food safety activities of Federal, State and Local agencies (NCBI, 2011).
Given the size, complexity, and growth of the food industry in the United States, both domestic and imported, it would be unrealistic to expect the FDA to have enough resources to provide adequate surveillance and inspection of the entire U.S. food supply and to encompass all areas of policy currently overseen by state and local agencies. Criticism has repeatedly been leveled the FDA by organizations and individuals inside and outside the government. The criticism is for the lack of adequate surveillance and inspection of the U.S food supply.
In the above context it becomes clear that the FDA could better leverage its food safety knowledge through improved access to, and utilization of data from state and local authorities. This would be data from food safety inspections, disease outbreaks and product safety investigations, with the resultant enforcement actions.
In 2011 President Barrack Obama signed into law the Food Safety Modernization Act, which put the focus on prevention rather than cure. Previously the system had been largely reactive. The new system became proactive. The passage of the legislation set in motion sweeping improvements to the security and safety of the nation’s food supply. All too often legislators pass laws (or do not pass laws) based on pressure from lobbyists and special interest groups. In this instance most of the recommendations of the experts were followed and the legislation reflects that.
The new Food Safety Modernization Act directs the Food and Drug Administration to build a new system of food safety oversight focused on applying, more comprehensively than ever, the best available science and good common sense to prevent the problems that can make people sick. It strengthens accountability for prevention throughout the entire food system-domestically and internationally. The FDA and the USDA have already established prevention-oriented standards and rules and many in the food industry have pioneered “best practices” for prevention (Hamburg, 2011).
What is new with the FSMA is the recognition that, for all the strengths of the American food system, a breakdown at any point on the farm-to-table spectrum can cause catastrophic harm to the health of consumers and great disruption and economic loss to the food industry. So there is a need to look at the food system as a whole and to be clear about the food safety responsibility of all its participants, and to strengthen accountability for prevention throughout the entire food system both domestically and internationally. Previously only individual states could do food recalls. The new law gave the FDA that right. The FDA for the first time will have a congressional mandate for risk-based inspection of food processing facilities. All high-risk domestic facilities must be inspected within five years of enactment of the law and no less than every three years thereafter (Hamburg, 2011).
Among the improvements is the requirement that importers verify the safety of food from their suppliers and the authority for the FDA to block foods from facilities or countries that refuse FDA inspection. With 15% of the US food supply being imported including 60% of fresh fruits and vegetables and 80% of seafood, that is a major step forward. Very importantly, the FSMA also calls for the strengthening of existing collaboration among all food safety agencies whether they are federal, state, local, territorial, tribal or foreign. Provision was also made for improved training. So the modernization act was four-pronged, stressing Prevention, Inspections, Compliance and Response, Enhanced Partnerships, and Import Safety, along with Training.
Currently under the new reorganized integrated food safety system with the reinvigorated Congress-mandated FDA, the FDA regulates almost everything we eat except for meat, poultry and processed egg products, which are regulated by their partners at the USDA (U.S Department of Agriculture) (Andaloro, 2012). In effectively addressing food-borne illness it is vitally important to understand that food contamination can occur at any level, at any step , and at any time, including on the farm, in processing, distribution facilities, during transportation, at retail and food service establishments, and in the home (Andaloro, 2012).
The FDA is working with federal, state, local, tribal and foreign counterpart food safety agencies. It is working with law enforcement and intelligence-gathering agencies, and with industry, consumer groups, and academia to significantly strengthen the nation’s food safety and food defense system across the entire distribution chain. This cooperation has resulted in greater awareness of potential vulnerabilities, the creation of more effective prevention programs, new surveillance systems, and the ability to respond more quickly to outbreaks of food borne illness (Andaloro, 2012). One of the weaknesses and shortcomings of the FSMA is the lack of funding and the shortage of personnel to effectively, efficiently implement it. That makes it incumbent upon food safety managers, chefs and lawyers to do pro bono work to supplement the funding of the Act (Andaloro, 2012).
In like manner that the original U.S Constitution was not perfect, and 27 amendments were added to improve the original document, the existing food safety statues are likewise periodically upgraded or amended as new information comes to light. The most recent upgrade or supplement was made in 2017 to the 2013 Food Code Chapters (FDA, 2017). A few highlights of the supplementary regulations follow below. A new paragraph was added to address the additional duty requirement for the Person in Charge to ensure employees are routinely monitoring food temperatures during hot and cold holding. A new paragraph was added to indicate separating raw animal foods during storage, preparations, holding and display separate from fruits and vegetables before they are washed. An amended paragraph was added to reflect new cooking time in seconds for ratites, mechanically tenderized and injected meats, comminuted fish, comminuted meat, comminuted game animals commercially raised for food or under voluntary inspection. Cooking time for raw eggs that are prepared to a consumer’s order were increased from 15 seconds to 17 seconds. An amended paragraph requires fish that is reduced oxygen packaged at retail to bear a label indicating that it is to be kept frozen until time of use (FDA, 2017).
A paragraph was added to clarify that a person in charge, or a food employee, may be responsible for taking corrective action when a critical limit is not met (FDA, 2017). A paragraph was added providing a new exception criteria indicating that the regulatory authority may agree to continued operation of a food facility during an extended water or electrical outage. A revised paragraph was added to include plans for the cleanup of vomiting and diarrheal events and that it be written and available. A paragraph was added indicating the availability of EPA registered disinfectant products that are sufficient to inactivate norovirus (FDA, 2017).
An amendment to the law requires that the person in charge must be a Certified Food Protection Manager (FDA, 2017). Revised Personal cleanliness rules were added. Revised Personal Cleanliness guidelines addresses the use of single-use gloves over impermeable bandages, finger cots and finger braces. New rules revised the old ones preventing food contamination from utensils, equipment and linens property stored, dried and handled. A revised Summary Chart was provided for Minimum Food Temperatures and Holding Times Required to reflect updated time/temperature cooking parameters (FDA, 2017).
Precedent setting case for the Poultry Industry and Consumers of Chicken
On March 1, 2018 an Arizona federal court jury returned a verdict in the amount of $6.5 million in favor of a five and a half year old child who suffered a brain injury as a result of a Salmonella Heidelbery infection from chicken produced by Foster Poultry Farms. The case established that chicken producers like Foster Poultry Farms can be held responsible for Salmonella contamination on raw chicken product even through the USDA does not consider Salmonella a per se “adulterant” in raw chicken and even though the bacteria can be killed by cooking the chicken. The case sets an important precedent for food safety.
Foster Poultry Farms argued that because Salmonella contamination is “natural” to raw chicken, it cannot form the basis of liability, regardless of the amount and type of contamination. Further, the company asserted that there was no evidence that the child ever consumed its product because Plaintiffs could not produce shopper card records, receipts, or other direct evidence that they had purchased Foster Farms chicken.
Plaintiffs introduced evidence that Foster Farms’ entire operation was infested with particularly dangerous strains of Salmonella Heidelberg, including the strain that sickened Noah Craten. The jury considered evidence of prior food borne illness outbreaks linked to Foster Farms and epidemiological evidence that Noah Craten was part of a very large Salmonella Heidelberg outbreak identified by the Centers for Disease control (CDC) and other health departments. According to the CDC, 639 people from 29 states were sickened in the Foster farms Salmonella outbreak from March 1, 2013 to July 11, 2014. In what is believed to be the first verdict of its kind, the jury concluded that Foster Farms was negligent in producing Salmonella Heidelberg-contaminated chicken and that, based on epidemiological and microbiological evidence alone, it caused Noah Crater’s illness. The jury attributed 30% of the fault to Foster Farms and 70% to the family members for their preparation of the chicken. The net verdict for the family was $1.95 million.
According to lead trial attorney, Eric Hageman, the verdict establishes a precedent that should change the poultry industry. “Traditionally, Foster Farms and other poultry producers have argued that they are under absolutely no obligation to address even pervasive Salmonella contamination. The jury in this case said enough is enough. Clean up your act.” The jury’s verdict, Hagemon said, “showed that Foster Farms cannot simply hide behind the USDA approval of its chicken”, and was a “rejection of the argument that poultry companies can produce contaminated product and then blame consumers who get sick from eating it” (Business Wire, 2018).
Significant Sarti V. Salt Creek Ltd Case
In the Case of Sarti V. Salt Creek Ltd (Nexus Lexis, 2008) on April 7, 2005, Alexis Sarti and a friend ate at the Salt Creek Grille. They split an appetizer consisting of raw ahi tuna, avocado, cucumbers and soy sauce. Sarti became nauseous and chilled the next day. The day after that she suffered constant diarrhea, fever and chills. Diarrhea continued for the next 10days. By April 19, Sarti was unable to move her legs and was having a hard time focusing her eyes. She was sent to the emergency room. Sarti never completely recovered. She had to use a walker for eight months and to this day retains only about 40 percent of what would have been her normal endurance. She sued the partnership that owns the Salt Creek Grille for breach of warranty.
There was plenty of substantial evidence on which the jury could have found the restaurant not liable. Sarti’s friend who split the appetizer did not get sick. The Salt Creek Grille takes great pains to separate its raw tuna from its raw chicken, including defrosting it in a different place in the walk-in freezer than where the chicken is stored, having the chef use a newly cleaned cutting board for the tuna, and preparing the tuna at the opposite end of the cook’s line from where the chicken is cooked. Chicken is prepared in its own separate room. Different colored cutting boards are used for tuna and chicken, and the same chef does not prepare both items. And Sarti herself worked as a supermarket checker the day she became sick could, at least in theory have picked up campylobacter from a leaking bag of raw chicken she might have scanned.
The jury found the restaurant liable. The jury returned a verdict of $725,000 in economic damages and $2.5 million in noneconomic damages (pain and suffering). The trial judge perceived that the jury’s verdict was based on the inference that the practice of using the same wipe-down rag (or storing raw meat over vegetables, or touching cooked food with chicken tongs that had previously touched raw chicken) had led to cross-contamination from raw tuna.
While I could not find much information on the internet or Lexus Nexus on successful food-borne illness lawsuits, the law firm of Marler Clark, The Food Safety Law Firm, is the nations leading law firm representing victims of food borne illness outbreaks. They claim to have gotten food processors to pay $650 million to their clients in the past two decades (Marler Clark, 2019). So there are obviously many successful food-borne illness lawsuits that have been filed in the last 20 years.
Comparison with Foreign Laws and Standards
American food regulation laws and standards require proactive “regulatory action.” European Union standards are more reactive and simply require ‘efforts” to reduce defects, rather than regulated actions. In spite of this significant difference in the approach to food safety, the United Kingdom, Ireland, France and other European countries are among the top 20 in food safety in the world. Various studies have been conducted in ranking the food standards of different countries, taking into account not only safety, but also quality, affordability and availability. A 2019 study conducted by the Global Food Security Index (GFSI) found the following 10 countries to have the top overall scores for affordability, availability, quality and safety: 1.) Singapore 2.) Ireland 3.) United States (tied with the UK) 4.) United Kingdom (tied with USA) 5.) Netherlands 6.) Australia 7.) Switzerland 8.) Finland 9.) Canada 10.) France.
From these results, The United States scored 99.4/100 for food safety, 100/100 for presence of food safety net programmes, and 100/100 for nutritional standards. The U.S also shares joint third place in the studies’ ranking with the U.K. Whilst they share the same overall score, the U.K scored 100/100 for food safety, 100/100 for presence of food safety net programmes, and 100/100 for nutritional standards. Hence, the U.K and the U.S.A both have some of the highest food standards anywhere in the world. In the third world countries there are far fewer food safety laws, much less strict enforcement and generally much lower standards.
Analysis of issues and Situation with Food-Borne Illnesses
In 2011, the year the FSMA modernization Act was passed, 48 million Americans were said to have been affected, one hundred thousand hospitalized, and thousands killed by food borne illnesses. The estimated population that year was 312.8 million. So, 15.35% of the population was affected by food-borne illnesses that year, a quite significant number of people and a quite significant portion of the entire population. Food-borne illnesses thus pose a huge health issue and problem for the United States. The FSMA was a huge step forward in improving food laws, in improving prevention, enhancing partnerships, better inspections better training and an empowered FDA to intercede in all 50 states in a timely manner to close down infected facilities, recall infected products etc. The amended laws in 2017 further strengthened an already strong, effective system. The United States ties with the United Kingdom in having the third highest food standard in the world.
Despite this relatively very positive, strong food safety scenario, there are still a great many challenges, problems imperfections, flaws, and issues that make it a constant uphill battle. Most people who get food-borne illnesses usually take no special medication, are not hospitalized, and are generally better in three days. Tens of thousands of people, however, still have to be hospitalized, and thousands still die from it.
Norovirus infections are problematic because there is no known cure or medication for Norovirus, the largest cause of food-borne sicknesses. Because all chicken and meats by nature contain Salmonella and Ecoli and most factories tend to be complacent about Salmonella and Ecoli levels, outbreaks can occur at any time (Business Wire, 2008). The causes and sources are hard to narrow down because there are so many links in the food chain. The sheer magnitude of the number of farms, factories, transporters, warehouses, retail outlets and restaurants makes it a daunting task. The sickness spreads like wildfire without people even knowing it is occurring because people who get infected by food-borne illnesses do not show symptoms for 12-48 hours and because it is so contagious. Contagious infected individuals can affect others even after they feel better. Because symptoms appear suddenly, an infected person who vomits in a public place can expose many people. Norovirus contaminated food stays infected even at freezing temperatures. Contaminated food has to be heated to more than 140 degrees Fahrenheit to get rid of the virus. Norovirus stays on food serving surfaces and utensils for up to 2 weeks. Norovirus resists the action of many common hand sanitizers and cleaners (Business Wire, 2008).
Perhaps the biggest problem with the spread of norovirus and other food-borne diseases is the fact that sick employees, particularly in the food industry, continue to work in the days following the outbreak perpetuating the spread of the illness (Garrity, 2017). This situation is worsened or amplified by the fact that the majority of these workers receive low wages and lack paid sick time. Low wage fast food workers will frequently work while sick thus spreading the disease. Food workers are said to cause the spread of 70% of norovirus outbreaks because they go to work when they are sick and get other workers and guests sick.
The FMLA (Family Leave Act) provides eligible workers with twelve weeks of unpaid leave (Garrity, 2017). Because the FMLA excludes short-term illnesses, workers suffering from the flu or stomach flu or similar illnesses still go to work while sick. The HFA (Health Families Act), which would provide employer-provided paid sick days for employees of all businesses of 15 employees or more has never been passed into law (Garrity, 2017). Compared to twenty-two of the richest countries in the world, the United States is the only country that does not provide workers with paid sick days or paid sick leave (Garrity, 2017). This situation makes it much harder to control the spread of the diseases when outbreaks occur, through no fault of the FDA the USDA, state and local regulators or the 34 statutes regulating protecting and controlling the food industry.
With all the forward headway from the 2012 FSMA, a 2019 CDC report indicates that progress in controlling major food-borne pathogens in the United States had stalled with a 15% increase in 2019 (CDC, 2019). While the 2011 FSMA included all of the recommendations of experts, and statutes were significantly amended and upgraded in 2017, the problem goes much deeper according to experts. Legislation alone cannot solve the inefficiencies and inadequacies of the system according to them. (NCBI, 2020)
The Congressional mandate to the FDA gave them the coordinating authority with other positive steps in the right direction as mentioned previously, but the program was not adequately funded and there is a shortage of personnel to implement the program. What is also needed is coordinated leadership with the will and motivation to sustainably accomplish the task (NCBI, 2010). Probono work by Food Safety managers and Chefs needs to supplement the budget shortfalls (Andaloro, 2012). As mentioned previously everything is relative. Despite the constant uphill battle scenario that food-borne illnesses represent, the United States still has the third highest food safety record in the world, which is a quite admirable food safety report card.
Two Real Life Legal Cases
Before entering the masters program I had never worked in the hospitality business and after graduating from the masters program I will not be working in the hospitality industry. I am the assistant general manager of Marelco Ltd, the Yamaha distributer and Yanmar, Cummins and Alison Transmission dealers for the country of Belize. During the 34 years we have been selling machinery even though we have sold thousands of outboards and motorcycles we have only been involved in litigation with customers twice. Approximately 25 years ago a 60HP outboard we sold gave a serious problem during the six-month warranty period.
The majority of the machinery we sell is for commercial use, so the warranty is only for 6 months. Under warranty we are required to repair and not replace engines. Because we did not then have a written warranty contract and we were taken to court, the judge ordered us to replace the engine with another brand new engine. The negative outcome of the court case was the motivational cause for us to spend three months getting legal advice and coming up with a very detailed warranty contract. Since then we have never had to replace problematic engines during the warranty period, only repair them. There have also been three refinements or amendments made to the original warranty contract over the years as new issues arose, and there is another amendment we will be doing shortly in light of the present case we are currently involved in.
We are currently in the middle of the second lawsuit in which two 350 HP outboard motors we sold, this time to a pleasure customer, gave trouble after the warranty period, and they are suing us for the full value of the two outboards even through they were beyond the warranty period and they have two and a half years of use. To further complicate the issue, unknown to us, because we sell so few of that model, the factory had done a recall in the USA on that model to replace a throw out bearing, which we were not notified about by the factory. They just posted it on their Fast Web site. Additionally, they had extended the one-year pleasure warranty in the USA to two years, also unknown to us.
Fortunately, the problem occurred after the official two-year warranty period. The customer who lives in the USA found out about the recall from our senior mechanic who got it from Yamaha’s web site. The previous Service Manager who gave our senior team mechanic unbridled access to Yamaha’s Service Portal on their Fast Website caused the problem for us. The mechanic’s youthful in-experience, had him naively give sensitive information about the warranty recall, which we did not even know about, to the customer before even notifying us. That ended up in the customer suing us for negligence. All mechanics are now only able to see strictly service information and not privileged confidential distributer information on the Service Portal.
The judge has already thrown out the claim on the motor that did not have the problem and has given us and the Plaintiff until December 8, 2020 to come up with an out of court settlement. We have offered either a cash settlement for the remaining useful life of the problem motor, or two new short blocks in which the customer would pay for half the cost (not selling price) of one short block and the entire cost (not selling price) of the other. December 8 will determine if the case goes on, based on just the one problematic motor, or if the out of court settlement will solve the problem.
As mentioned in the introduction, covid-19 originated in the wet markets of Wuhan, China. Contaminated food from the wet markets in Wuhan infected local Chinese who spread it to the rest of the world. Most Americans do not know that in reality there are really two governments in the United States, the elected representatives in the Congress and the White House, and the Federal Reserve System which is an independent privately run entity which regulates the money supply and the economy and which is controlled by an international banking cartel (Stamper, 2008). In reality the Fed is above the law and is a law onto itself. The Federal Reserve Act of 1913 created the Fed. The bankruptcy of the USA during the Great Depression along with the switch from the gold standard to fractional banking in 1933 consolidated the international banking cartel’s control over the Fed (Stamper, 2008). In reality this created a form of economic slavery on the people of the United States.
It is alleged by the people who control the Fed that they have evidence that China was grossly negligent with the spread of covid-19 to the rest of the world. The United States has been the biggest victim of covid-19. China already has the strongest balance sheet in the world. The increased covid-19 debt of the rest of the world would weaken them and further strengthen China, as China is one of the World’s biggest debtors. This is a prime example of the book by Sun Tzu, The Art of War’s, most devious way of winning a battle and a war without striking a single physical blow (Tzu, 2007).
Fortunately, the international banking cartel has proof of what China has done and is holding China accountable. It is alleged that behind the scenes, for china to save face, the G8 will be jointly deducting from china the cost of the covid-19 pandemic along with damages. One can only hope that if that happens it will signal the beginning of the end of communism in China and a better China for its people and the world.
Discussion of Legal Issues from Management View and Management Suggestions for Safer Hospitality Restaurant Food
Because I have never worked in or for a hospitality business, it is hard for me to relate legal issues to a hospitality manager’s job. In the food-borne illness context I think that the United States has one of the best systems of food safety in the world. Indeed the USA’s number three ranking in the world in food safety and other food issues, which it shares with the United Kingdom bespeaks of the intrinsic soundness, quality and effectiveness and basic efficiency of the system.
The 34 statutes that regulate food safety have been well planned, thought out and documented. Every couple of years, improvements or amendments are made to those laws, the most recent amendments being in 2017. The 2011 Food Safety Modernization Act was a major forward step in that it changed the system from being reactive to food issues to becoming proactive in preventing food issues at home and from abroad. The FDA’s Congressional mandate to be the coordinating entity is noteworthy. The combination of good laws, competent federal, state and local entities implementing the laws, and the industry they regulate having paid out to plaintiffs in lawsuits more than $650 million in penalties in the past twenty years should continue to foster one of the best food safety systems and some of the healthiest food in the world.
The recent 2017 food statute amendments gives clues to areas health authorities consider sensitive, relevant and important to food safety. In the hotel restaurant that I would run those practices and procedures would be used to proactively seek to prevent any food issues from occurring to the health detriment of staff and customers alike and to also help prevent any lawsuits against the hotel from occurring. Some of those measures would include putting a supervisor from each shift in charge of food safety. They will get training and get certification as Certified Food Protection Managers. There would be a senior manager and an assistant who would be certified in food safety and in charge of food safety. Each of them would be in charge of each of the two daytime shifts in which food would be prepared and served. They would ensure that there is routine monitoring of food temperatures during both hot and cold holding. Separate holding storage areas would be set up for all raw meat, chicken, fish, and seafood products separate from fruits and vegetables. That would also apply to preparation of those products. In the preparation of all raw proteins they would be thoroughly washed with water, red vinegar and lime before cooking. Different color-coded cutting boards would be used to ensure that cross-contamination does not occur. The 2017 upgraded Time/Temperature cooking parameters would be strictly adhered to. All other major amendments to the food statues would similarly be adhered to with the certified food safety managers in charge of that.
The two food safety specialists would get refresher course each year. In like manner that doctors swear a hypocritical oath, and lawyers swear a lawyer’s oath, the food managers would be made to swear a Food Safety oath pledging to personally supervise ad ensure that all food in their kitchen is of a taste and health standard acceptable for their own family to eat. The significant financial implications of at least two cases similar to the Sarti V. Salt Creek Ltd case would be explained to the food safety managers. The financial reality that their job is on the line if a major lawsuit should occur would be stressed. The fact that the continued financial viability of their employer, the hotel, is on the line should a major lawsuit occur, should bring home the sobering realization to them of the essential necessity to maintain a sustained healthy food standard in the hotel restaurant.
Food-borne illnesses pose a huge threat to the United States each year. Despite the threats many factors contribute to the United States having one of the highest food safety standards in the world. The 34 food safety statutes make a major contribution to that high status along with the recent 2011 FSMA (Food Safety Modernization Act), which followed all of the recommendations of food experts. The Congressionally mandated FDA working in conjunction with the USDA and state and local agencies together with the industry they regulate further enhances’ the effectiveness of the system. An already excellent situation was further enhanced by the 2017 upgraded amendments to the food laws.
The food-borne issue and problem is so complex and large, however, that it is a constant uphill battle to maintain the high standard and keep outbreaks from occurring. Laws alone cannot solve the problem especially when there is a shortage of funding and personnel to keep the system running efficiently and effectively. Leadership, drive and motivation are needed along with pro bono work by each and every food manager and lawyer to supplement the shortfall in funding. The major financial threat of lawsuits should also make a major contribution to keeping the system on track.