Pregnancy

Mother Claims Airline Gave Her Unborn Child Listeria … In A Chicken Wrap

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An unborn baby suffered food poisoning after his mother ate a listeria-plagued chicken roll on a Virgin Australia flight, according to a lawsuit written up by Australia’s Herald Sun. Mother Renee Cherry filed a lawsuit on behalf of her son Zayd Fokeera, now almost two, seeking money from the airline.

“The roll was tainted and not fit for human consumption, as it contained listeria bacteria,” according to the statement of claim. “The listeria bacteria poisoned the blood of the plaintiff’s mother and the plaintiff and caused him to suffer injury.”

The baby was born two months later and the suit claims his injuries included listeriosis, a gastro-intestinal injury, developmental delay and anxiety. There was a claim for medical expenses and loss of prospective income and earning capacity, as well as damages.

Okay, I have a few questions. First off, how in the world would the mother be able to prove how she got listeria? How was she able to specify the exact meal she ate that caused this? And if she knew years ago, why did she wait to file suit? I mean, if they’re just going for that time-honored route of making idle threats in order to get a nice settlement, that’s one (unsavory) thing. But what’s the burden of proof here?

I found this story over at Babble where the blogger writes “pregnant moms should be assured that any food given to them is free from bacteria and cooked, as should every person ideally.” And yet there are risks in the world. Which is why I don’t eat cold cuts or shellfish while pregnant. I mean, assuming the airline didn’t force her to eat the chicken wrap, there is an issue of personal responsibility. The blogger also writes:

Pregnant women are often advised to stop eating luncheon meats, but that is similar to having a drink while pregnant: it’s a very individual choice. I have never taken flights long enough to require a full meal while I was pregnant, but I was also so easily turned off by some foods during pregnancy. Airline food wouldn’t rank high on my list.

But there’s literally no evidence that having a drink while pregnant will cause any harm while the risks of listeria are serious and profound and well proven. Is this not one of the problems of hyping every threat to pregnancy? See how we end up forgetting the really important ones or thinking they’re just as silly as the ban on a single glass of wine?