Food poisoning occurs when food contaminated with bacteria or other pathogens, such as parasites or viruses, is consumed. Poisonous chemicals, pesticides, and other harmful substances can also cause foodborne illness. Food poisoning can result in serious illness and in some cases even death.
Typically, food becomes contaminated with a microbial pathogen as a result of improper food processing, handling, preparation and/or storage. According to the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), there are 76 million cases of foodborne illness in the United States each year. Of these cases, about 300,000 people are hospitalized, and 5,000 people die.
What are the common forms of food poisoning?
The most commonly recognized foodborne infections are those caused by the bacteria Campylobacter, Salmonella, Escherichia coli (specifically, E. coli O157:H7), and Listeria as well as a group of viruses called noroviruses (also known as Norwalk-like virus or calcivirus). Common diseases that are occasionally foodborne, although usually transmitted by other routes, include infections caused by Shigella and Hepatitis A and by the parasites, Giardia lamblia and Cryptosporidia. Still other foodborne diseases are caused by the presence of a toxin produced by a microbe found in food. For example, a toxin produced by the bacterium Clostridium botulinum causes the rare but deadly disease botulism.
What are the symptoms of food poisoning?
Food Poisoning symptoms may include upset stomach, diarrhea, fever, nausea, vomiting, abdominal cramps, headache, weakness, and dehydration. The symptoms may appear several hours to several days after ingesting contaminated food.
Who is at risk of contracting food poisoning?
Everyone is at risk for the disease, however, pregnant women (and their fetuses), infants and children, the elderly, and the severely ill are at greatest risk for severe complications, permanent disability, and death.
How can the Law Firm of Eric H. Weinberg help in the case of food poisoning?
Our firm is currently representing victims of the recent Peter Pan brand peanut butter Salmonella outbreak and victims of the Arby’s Salmonella outbreak in Valdosta, Georgia, as well as victims of other food poisoning outbreaks through out the country.
If you or a loved one is suffering or has suffered from food poisoning, the Law Offices of Eric H. Weinberg can help you. If you are currently experiencing food poisoning symptoms, you should visit your doctor or local emergency room.
You should also report your illness to your county health department to help them identify and investigate an outbreak and prevent others from becoming ill. In addition, you should be sure that your doctor, or the hospital where you are receiving treatment, takes a stool sample to identify the foodborne pathogen responsible for your symptoms.
And, finally, you should keep food samples if they are in your possession. Refrigerate suspected food (either prepared meal or ingredients) in a bag or plastic container and label “Danger: Do Not Eat.” A food sample may not be necessary to prove that you have suffered from food poisoning (especially if a stool sample has been taken), but it may be helpful nonetheless.
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To find out more about your legal rights in the case of food poisoning, you can request a free case evaluation from our firm by clicking on free case evaluation. You may also contact us toll free at 1-877-934-6274 or visit the firm’s additional site, www.foodpoisoning.com.