Photo of Drew Falkenstein

Drew Falkenstein joined Marler Clark in January, 2004 and has concentrated his practice in representing victims of foodborne illness. He has litigated nationwide against some of the biggest food corporations in the world, including Dole, Kellogg's, and McDonald's.  He has worked on landmark cases that have helped shape food safety policy, HACCP protocol, and consumer rights, such as the E. coli outbreak in fresh spinach in 2006 and the 2008 Peanut Corporation of America outbreak of Salmonella. A frequent speaker for the not-for-profit organization Outbreak, Inc, Mr. Falkenstein travels the country to address public and environmental health organizations as well as food safety meetings and annual educational conferences.  He speaks on the intersection of law and public health, and addresses companies on how to prevent food borne illness outbreaks.

One need not look far to grasp the scope of this country’s food safety problems, and the personal devastation that can happen when somebody is infected by E. coli, Salmonella, Campylobacter, or any other foodborne pathogen.

Stephanie Smith, who, at the time of her illness, was a 19-year-old dance instructor from Cold Springs, Minnesota, suffered…

Sick foodhandlers.  It’s a problem nationally at many restaurants, and is the source of many outbreaks of foodborne disease.  Currently, in the Shigella outbreak linked to a Subway restaurant in Lombard, Illinois, sick foodhandlers are believed to have been the cause of the outbreak.  As in the Lombard Subway outbreak, when sick foodhandlers are, in…

We cannot rely on beef and fresh produce companies to police themselves.  Restaurants are sometimes inept, caring more about customer count than safety.  The U.S. Department of Agriculture’s Food Safety and Inspection service (FSIS) and the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) are ill equipped to do it all alone.  And the 50 states, which …

For many, hunting is much more than a hobby; neither snow, nor ice, nor anything else will stand in the way of the pursuit.  For some, it’s just a hobby.  But for all, hunting carries risks . . . even if you’re not hunting with a scattershot ex-VP who forgot to take a hunter’s safety …

Raw milk folk are certainly wedded to their cause.  I was present at the California Legislature in January 2008 when one to two hundred people paraded to the podium to say who they were and how far they had come to support the repeal of California’s newly instituted coliform limit in raw milk.  And I …

In late August 2009, patrons of Mi Ranchito restaurant in Lenexa, Kansas, began falling ill.

Their symptoms included severe nausea and vomiting. Part of the mystery surrounding the outbreak of illnesses was that the victims’ symptoms came on so quickly after dining at the restaurant–sometimes just after eating the meal.

The reason, as investigating health…

Nobody wants a recall.  Nobody wants to make people sick.  Generally, food manufacturers do have safeguards in place–some more than others–to avoid outbreaks of foodborne disease and the recalls that typically follow.  But outbreaks and recalls happen.  Bacteria and viruses are microscopically small and can be hard to detect, and there will always be an …