Drew Falkenstein to Address Virginia Food Safety Task Force


Drew Falkenstein will address the Virginia Department of Health’s conference titled “Recalls and the Lessons That we Have Learned” on Thursday, March 26 in Richmond, Virginia. The conference has been put together by the Virginia Food Safety Task Force.

Falkenstein is an attorney with Marler Clark, the Seattle-based food borne illness law firm at the center of the recent peanut butter-Salmonella outbreak and many other major food borne illness outbreaks in the US. His speech addresses recalls and the legal issues that surround them.

“State health inspectors are a large part of the food supply’s ‘safety net’,” said Falkenstein. “It’s important that they are aware of their legal rights and responsibilities, especially in regard to recalls.”

Marler Clark represents over 100 people sickened by Salmonella-tainted peanut butter and peanut products, an outbreak that has spurred a record recall of almost 3000 products by hundreds of companies.

“This outbreak has taken an enormous toll on both consumers and businesses,” continued Falkenstein. “Who inspected the plant and when has become an important question in the investigations into what went wrong. It’s a perfect example of why State health inspectors are vital to the safety of the food supply, and the more information they have, the better.”

Salmonella Typhimurium illnesses were reported as early as August 2008, but were not linked to peanut butter until January 2009. They were then traced to the PCA processing plants in Blakely, GA and Plainview, TX. The now-shuttered plants provided peanut butter and peanut paste used in many products, including cookies, crackers, candies, ice cream, nutrition bars, and dog treats. Marler Clark has filed seven lawsuits on behalf of victims of the outbreak.