Most folks know that I’m a lawyer, and because of this blog and my prior involvement with eGullet, many people think that I represent folks in the food industry. Well, I actually do, but that’s a very, very small part of my practice. However, that doesn’t stop me from getting mail about food-related matters. And this morning’s mail brought me a solicitation I’ve never seen before: a brochure for a continuing education course entitled, “Food-Borne Illness Litigation: Advanced Strategies for Managing and Defending Food Contamination Claims.” Lest you think I’m making this up, you can register yourself by visiting the sponsor’s website.
Wow, I just might have to go. Epidemiologists, microbiologists and litigators — Oh, My! And this is very important stuff, as the brochure states, “All kinds of food-borne illnesses and the ensuing litigation are on the rise, as experts point fingers at increased use of offshore food sources, a largely self-regulated industry, and other factors in an attempt to explain the sudden surge.”
I’ll learn how to depose food-borne illness experts. I can see it now, “And so, Dr. Hodensack, when you say that the cheese was moldy, were you not aware that it was a Spanish cabrales? Oh, it wasn’t? It was American? Ah . . . question withdrawn.”
I’ll get to meet “in-house counsel with food manufacturers, distributors, suppliers and servers.” Since when did servers have their own in-house counsel? I’ll meet the trailblazers in the industry, those who have represented those great establishments known for their great hygienic practices such as Chi-Chi’s, Sheetz, Jack-in-the-Box and Con-Agra.
And when it’s all over, I’ll be able to recognize the difference between salmonella, E-coli O157:H7 and just a bad oyster. (And you all should be sure that it is the E-coli O157:H7 and not the O157:H3 strain!).
Sounds like a great time. And as an added treat, continental breakfast and coffee break are provided, if you dare.