When you purchase food from a grocery store or order a meal at a restaurant, you expect the food to be safe for you to eat. However, there are many cases in which contaminated food is sold or served to consumers, and food poisoning can result in a wide variety of harmful conditions. In fact, the Centers for Disease Control (CDC) has estimated that 48 million people become ill from foodborne diseases every year in the United States, and these illnesses result in 128,000 hospitalizations and 3,000 deaths. If you have been injured because of food poisoning, you may be able to seek compensation for your damages through a personal injury or product liability lawsuit.
Types of Food Poisoning
There are a wide variety of illnesses that can result from food poisoning, and some of the most common include:
- Salmonella - Found in meat, eggs, unpasteurized milk, cheese, and raw fruits and vegetables. Symptoms include fever, vomiting, and diarrhea, and they usually appear within six to 48 hours of consumption of contaminated food.
- E. coli - Found in food or water that is contaminated with human feces. Symptoms include vomiting, diarrhea, and abdominal cramps, and they typically appear within one to three days.
- Hepatitis - Found in raw produce, uncooked foods, foods handled by someone who is infected, and contaminated drinking water. Symptoms include jaundice, fever, headache, nausea, and diarrhea, and they usually appear between 15 and 50 days after ingestion of contaminated food or water.
- Norovirus - Found in raw produce, contaminated water, uncooked foods, and foods which have not been reheated after contact by an infected food handler. Symptoms include nausea, vomiting (more common for children), diarrhea (more common for adults), fever, and headaches, and they typically appear within 12 to 48 hours.
- Staphylococcal (staph) food poisoning - Found in unrefrigerated meats, egg salad, and potato salad. Symptoms include severe nausea and vomiting with a sudden onset, as well as fever and diarrhea, and they usually appear within one to six hours after ingestion.
- Botulism - Found in improperly canned foods. Symptoms include vomiting, diarrhea, blurred or double vision, difficulty swallowing, and weak muscles, and they typically appear within 12 to 72 hours of consuming contaminated food. An infection may result in respiratory failure and death.
Pursuing Compensation for Food Poisoning
If you have become seriously ill after eating contaminated food, you may be able to receive compensation from the parties who were responsible. To pursue a personal injury lawsuit for food poisoning, you typically must demonstrate that food was contaminated and that the contamination caused your illness. The process of determining liability, gathering and preserving evidence, and obtaining medical records can be complex, and having a skilled attorney on your side is essential in this type of case.
At Kinnally Flaherty Krentz Loran Hodge & Masur, P.C., we understand the legal issues that must be addressed in a case involving food poisoning. We can help you demonstrate liability and obtain the compensation that will address your damages, including medical bills, lost income, and pain and suffering. Contact our Kane County personal injury lawyers at 630-907-0909 to arrange a free consultation.