While people may be careful to avoid eating foods that could potentially be harmful, there are a variety of situations where food poisoning may occur. Because foodborne illnesses can cause a great deal of pain and discomfort and have long-lasting effects, those who have contracted these illnesses will want to understand who was responsible, and they may be able to pursue financial compensation for their injuries and damages. Our firm works to keep people informed about issues related to food poisoning, and we regularly answer questions about these matters, including:
How Common Is Food Poisoning?
According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), around one out of every six people in the United States contract foodborne illnesses every year. Out of the people who are affected, around 128,000 become severely ill and require hospitalization, and around 3,000 illnesses are fatal.
How Can Food Poisoning Be Prevented?
When preparing and storing food, there are multiple steps that can be taken to ensure that people do not consume dangerous germs. People should always wash their hands before preparing food, and cross-contamination can be prevented by cleaning utensils and food preparation surfaces and storing foods in a way that prevents germs from spreading. Food should always be cooked to the proper temperature, and perishable foods should be refrigerated or frozen.
While people may take care to follow these practices when preparing food at home, they may be unable to prevent infections that occur due to unsafe practices at restaurants or grocery stores. If restaurant workers do not wash their hands or take steps to prevent cross-contamination, foods served to customers may be unsafe. People may also be placed at risk due to food products sold at stores that became contaminated during processing, packaging, storage, or delivery.
What Are the Symptoms of Food Poisoning?
While different types of foodborne illnesses may affect people in different ways, common symptoms include stomach pain, nausea, vomiting, diarrhea, and fevers. Those who experience severe symptoms, such as fevers over 102 degrees Fahrenheit, bloody diarrhea, or dehydration due to constant vomiting, may need to be hospitalized.
What Are the Most Common Types of Foodborne Illnesses?
The most common bacteria and viruses that cause food poisoning are:
While infections of the following types of viruses or bacteria are less common, they are most likely to cause serious illness requiring hospitalization:
Who Is Most at Risk of Serious Illnesses or Injuries Because of Food Poisoning?
While anyone may be affected by food poisoning, certain people are more at risk of becoming seriously ill and experiencing adverse effects. Adults over the age of 65 may have weakened immune systems that may cause their bodies to be unable to fight an infection effectively. Children under the age of five may become seriously ill because their immune systems have not fully developed. Pregnant women may be seriously affected by certain types of foodborne illnesses that may result in complications such as birth defects or miscarriages. Foodborne illnesses can also be dangerous for people who have weakened immune systems, such as those who have received organ transplants or are undergoing treatment for cancer.
Contact Our Illinois Foodborne Illness Injury Lawyers
At Newland & Newland, LLP, we can answer any other questions you have about food poisoning, and we can help you determine your legal options for pursuing compensation for illnesses or injuries that you have suffered due to contaminated foods. Contact our Illinois food poisoning attorneys today at 312-981-0409 to arrange your free consultation.