Contact Us

Food Poisoning
*    Denotes required field.

   * First Name 

   * Last Name 

   * Email 

Phone 

Cell Phone 

Street Address 

Zip Code 

City 

State 

State of occurrence: 

Please describe food poisoning:

When did food poisoning occur?

Were you able to determine the food responsible for your illness?

Please describe illness resulting from food poisoning:

For verification purposes, please answer the below question:
+
=

No Yes, I agree to the Parker Waichman LLP disclaimers. Click here to review.

Yes, I would like to receive the Parker Waichman LLP monthly newsletter, InjuryAlert.

please do not fill out the field below.

FOOD POISONING

Food Poisoning

Roughly 1 in 6 Americans Suffer From Food Poisoning Illnesses Each Year

Roughly 1 in 6 Americans Suffer From Foodborne Illnesses Each Year

Roughly 1 in 6 Americans Suffer From Foodborne Illnesses Each Year

Salmonella, e. coli and listeria are among the pathogens that can contaminate food, leaving the people who consume it sick – sometimes seriously, suffering from a severe illness that can include long-term health consequences. A serious bout of food poisoning can also leave a victim with significant medical expenses, lost wages and other problems.

Food poisoning causes about 48 million people to get sick, 128,000 hospitalizations, and up to 3,000 deaths each year, according to the Centers for Disease Control (CDC). Salmonella alone, one of the most common forms of food poisoning, accounts for medical costs and lost work time of about $1 billion.

Everything from tainted lettuce, contaminated meat and even defective children's snack foods has been implicated in large-scale food poisoning outbreaks.

Contamination

Bacteria and viruses can contaminate food in many ways. Poor sanitation or preparation is a key way. For example, food handlers who do not wash their hands after using the bathroom or who have infections themselves can cause food-borne illnesses. Manufacturers that do not maintain sanitary conditions at factories or packing plants can cause food poisoning. Fruits and vegetables can become contaminated with bacteria while still in the fields as a result of exposure to animal waste. Improperly packaged food stored at the wrong temperature also promotes contamination.

Bacteria that Frequently Cause Food Poisoning

Bacteria are one of the most common causes of food borne illnesses, which each type offering its own host of adverse reactions and consequences. A wide range of tainted food can pose danger, including peanut butter, meat, seafood and lettuce. Salmonella – which is transmitted by undercooked foods, such as eggs, poultry, dairy products, and seafood – is a common type of food poisoning; it can cause a moderate illness with nausea, vomiting, cramps/diarrhea, and headaches, which may return a few weeks later in the form of arthritis (joint pains). Salmonella can, however, become a life-threatening malady for people with impaired immune systems (such as those with kidney disease or HIV/AIDS, as well as those on chemotherapy for cancer).

E. coli O157:H7 is one of hundreds of strains of the bacterium Escherichia coli. Although most strains are harmless, this particular one infects about 73,000 and causes some 61 deaths in the United States each year. E. coli causes moderate to severe illness that begins as watery diarrhea, but progresses into bloody diarrhea. The more virulent E. coli O15:H7 can cause kidney failure and death (about 3-5% of all cases). It is transmitted by eating raw or undercooked hamburger, unpasteurized milk or juices, or contaminated well water.

Listeria is a bacterium found in soil, vegetation, raw milk, meat, poultry, cheeses (particularly the soft mould-ripened varieties) and salad vegetables. Listeria symptoms can vary from a mild flu-like illness to meningitis and septicemia. In pregnant women, Listeria can cause a miscarriage or the birth of an infected child, and even require an abortion. Other people at risk of a bad strain are those with compromised immune systems, including the very young and the very old.

Viruses that Cause Food Poisoning

Viruses are a major cause of food borne illnesses. In many instances, viruses contaminate food because food industry workers do not take precautions to insure a sanitary environment. One such virus that can be passed in this manner is the Norwalk Virus, which causes a mild illness that induces nausea, vomiting, diarrhea, stomach pain, headache, and low-grade fever. It is the most common viral cause of adult food poisoning and is transmitted from water, shellfish, and vegetables contaminated by feces, as well as from person to person.

Hepatitis A is another virus that can be transmitted via food. Hepatitis A causes mild illness with sudden onset of fever, loss of appetite, and feelings of tiredness; these usually are followed by jaundice, which is a yellowing of the eyes and skin. In extreme cases, Hepatitis A can cause one to need a liver transplant; it also can cause death. It is transmitted from person to person by fecal contamination of food. In the past, infected waiters have passed Hepatitis A on to restaurant patrons. The largest Hepatitis A outbreak in U.S. history occurred in 2005 at Chi-Chi's Mexican Restaurant in Pennsylvania. More than 500 people contracted Hepatitis A – three of whom died –after eating at the restaurant. The outbreak was linked to tainted green onions.

Rotavirus is another virus that can be passed through contaminated food. Rotavirus causes moderate to severe illness, with vomiting, followed by watery diarrhea and fever. It is the most common cause of food poisoning in infants and children and is transmitted from person to person by fecal contamination of food and shared play areas.

Food Poisoning can Have Long-Term Adverse Health Effects

A bout of food poisoning can cause serious long-term health problems; some victims will still be dealing with the consequences of food borne illnesses months and even years after the initial illness.

E. coli victims sometimes require kidney transplants. They may also have scarred intestines, which can cause lasting digestive difficulty. Even e. coli patients who supposedly recovered can eventually experience long-term health problems. About 10 percent of e. coli sufferers develop a serious complication called hemolytic uremic syndrome, or HUS, where their kidneys and other organs fail.

Salmonella also has potential long-term health consequences. Some victims of Salmonella will develop a disease called Reiter's Syndrome, a difficult-to-treat form of reactive arthritis that causes severe joint pain, irritation of the eyes, and painful urination. Reiter's Syndrome can plague its victims for months or years, and can lead to chronic arthritis. Certain strains of shigella and yersinia bacteria, which are far more common abroad than in the U.S., can also trigger Reiter's Syndrome.

About 1 in 1,000 sufferers of campylobacter, a diarrhea-causing infection spread by raw poultry, develop the far more serious Guillain-Barre syndrome within a month or so. Their body attacks their nerves, causing paralysis that usually requires intensive care and a ventilator to breathe. It is estimated that about a third of the nation's Guillain-Barre cases have been linked to previous instances of campylobacter, even if the diarrhea was very mild, and they typically suffer a more severe case than patients who never had food poisoning.

Get Help from a Professional Food Attorney

If you think you or a loved one are eligible for a tainted food lawsuit, please fill out the form at the right for a free case evaluation by one of our qualified personal injury attorneys. The food poisoning attorneys at our firm are committed to helping victims of food borne illnesses receive the compensation they deserve.

Tags:  

Food Poisoning NewsRSS Feed

FDA Seeks Food Companies' Cooperation in Genome Sequencing to Identify Sources of Foodborne Illnesses

Aug 31, 2015
The Food and Drug Administration (FDA) is seeking food company cooperation in whole genome sequencing of pathogens, which will permit FDA officials...

Report Shows Organic Food Recalls are Increasing

Aug 21, 2015
Organic food product recalls are on the rise, a new report suggests. The New York Times reports that Stericycle, a company that manages recalls for...

FDA Documents Show Blue Bell Knew of Listeria Problems Since 2013

May 11, 2015
The U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) has released documents indicating that Blue Bell Creameries was aware that one of its factories had...

Positive Listeria Test Prompts another Ice Cream Recall

Apr 27, 2015
Another ice cream company is recalling all of its products due to potential listeria contamination. Associated Press reports that Jeni's Splendid...

Deadly Diet Pill Available Online

Apr 24, 2015
The death of a young woman in the U.K. who took toxic diet pills she bought online highlights the challenges in regulating pharmaceuticals sold on...

Queso Fresco Cheese May be Contaminated with Staphylococcus Aureus

Apr 23, 2015
Clarita Queseria Queso Fresco "Fresh Cheese" made by Queseria La Poblanita, Inc., 216 E. 117th St., New York, NY, 10035 may be contaminated with...

Blue Bell Creameries Expand Recall to All Products Because of Listeria Outbreak

Apr 22, 2015
Blue Bell Creameries, which distributes frozen desserts to about half of the United States, voluntarily expanded its product recall to include all of...

Sabra Recalls Classic Hummus Due to Possible Listeria Contamination

Apr 10, 2015
Sabra Dipping Co., LLC has announced the voluntary recall of approximately 30,000 cases of its Classic Hummus due to possible contamination with...

Nashville Health Officials Look for Cause of Norovirus Outbreak at Opryland Hotel

Apr 7, 2015
The Metro Public Health Department In Tennessee said Monday that two more people have tested positive for norovirus at the Gaylord Opryland hotel....

Blue Bell Ice Cream Recall Expanded

Mar 31, 2015
Texas-based Blue Bell Ice Cream has expanded its recent product recall to include 3-ounce single serving cups distributed in nearly half the country...

Three Kansas Hospital Patients Die After Eating Tainted Ice Cream

Mar 17, 2015
Three patients at a Kansas hospital have died after eating Blue Bell ice cream tainted with listeria, but health officials say food-borne illness was...

Foreign Seafood Processors Receive FDA Warning Letters

Dec 9, 2014
In recent months, seafood processors in Ecuador, Portugal, Malaysia, Spain and Vietnam have received warning letters from the U.S. Food and Drug...
Parker Waichman Accolades And Reviews Law Dragon Best Lawyers Find Us On Avvo