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Some brands of chia powder recalled as unsafe

California consumers have a right to expect that products put on the market will benefit and not harm them. Even well-respected brands, however, can sometimes mistakenly sell products that endanger or harm consumers. These dangers can come from complete products or from constituent materials used in other products.

Recently, chia seed powder has been linked to dozens of illnesses of people in the United States and Canada. The seed product, which is commonly sold as a health food, was allegedly contaminated by salmonella bacteria, according to the federal Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and the Food and Drug Administration. Officials say 21 people across the western United States have been sickened by products containing the seed power; Canadian officials in four western provinces report 44 illnesses, including 6 hospitalizations. Approximately one dozen brands have been recalled since late May.

Salmonella is often found in egg and meat products. According to the CDC, it sickens 1.2 million Americans every year. An average of 450 people die annually in the U.S. from Salmonella poisoning. Salmonella is most dangerous to young children, the elderly and people with weak immune systems.

A consumer injured or made ill by an unsafe or defective product can often file a product liability lawsuit against the manufacturer or seller. If the lawsuit is successful, the consumer can recover monetary damages for medical expenses, lost income and pain and suffering. In California, legal help is available for anyone who has been injured or sickened by an unsafe product. An experienced attorney can investigate and evaluate a plaintiff's claim and represent them throughout the litigation process.

Source:, "21 cases of salmonella in Chia seed powder result in product recall," Rachel Donald, June 15, 2014

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