Strict Liability is a critical legal principle that if you cause harm you are liable. It is liability without proof of fault for an injury caused by a product that is both defective and not reasonably safe. In establishing strict liability, the injured person need only prove:
- The product was unsafe (and therefore defective), and
- The defect caused the injury.
The focus is on the product, not the conduct of the manufacturer/foodservice operator. It does not matter if every possible precaution was taken. If the product was defective, and caused an injury, the provider of the product is liable.
Modern scientific tools such as genetic fingerprinting of organisms makes positive identification of the source of an outbreak possible. Once the source is identified, the operator is liable.