Food Poisoning FAQ
What is food poisoning?
Food poisoning is caused by consuming food that contains bacteria or viruses. There are a variety of ways this can occur. Food can become contaminated while either at the farm, throughout packaging, en route to the store, or by being incorrectly stored or cooked at home or in a restaurant. Because symptoms can appear multiple days after eating the infected food, the exact cause of food poisoning can be hard to pinpoint.
Some symptoms of food poisoning include nausea, abdominal pains, vomiting, watery diarrhea, fever, and cramps. These symptoms can often be confused for the stomach flu or a number of other illnesses, which makes it hard to detect if it is food poisoning. Most cases of food poisoning are minor and take people about a week to recover. In less common and more serious instances, food poisoning can lead to hospitalization and other serious injuries.
What are some of the sources of food poisoning?
The main cause of food poisoning is bacteria and viruses in the food. These bacteria and viruses can infect almost any type of food. However, some food are associated with food poisoning more than others. Poultry, shellfish, eggs, meats, leafy green vegetables, and dairy products are the most commonly at-risk food items. Prevention is the best cure for food contamination. By ensuring food is kept at the proper temperature and cooked and stored properly, this can greatly reduce the risk of food poisoning.
Can someone who gets food poisoning sue?
Yes. Technically, anyone who gets food poisoning is able to sue who is responsible. Those who are responsible can include the restaurant that serves the dish that caused food poisoning or the store who sold the contaminated products. A product liability lawsuit or a personal injury lawsuit may be able to provide the victim with compensation for medical costs, lost income, hospital bills, and other damages. Lawsuits are more common and successful if there has been thorough documentation regarding the contamination of the food supply.
Are there concerns about filing a lawsuit for food poisoning?
There are quite a few difficulties when it comes to filing a lawsuit for food poisoning. First, people typically get sick a few days after eating the infected food. Determining that it is actually food poisoning and then figuring out what food was without a doubt the cause can be challenging. Secondly, a lawsuit will need to prove that someone is legally responsible for your illness. This can be difficult as the victim may not be able to present the food that caused the food poisoning or even prove that it was infected. Finally, most food poisoning cases are not severe enough to justify spending the kind of time and money it would take to pursue a lawsuit.
There are some cases in which it is obvious that specific food caused food poisoning to take place. When there are multiple sufferers of food poisoning from the same restaurant or dish, it can be much easier to show the food was infected. If there was hospitalization as a result of food poisoning, it can make a lawsuit with a personal injury lawyer firm more worthwhile. If someone were to die from food poisoning, there could be cause for a wrongful death lawsuit.
Thank you to our friend and contributors at Darrell Castle & Associates, PLLC for their insight into food poisoning and personal injury.