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Date Modified: April 1, 2023
Los Angeles Food Poisoning Attorneys Answer The Most Commonly Asked Questions Here
Have you, a relative or partner, been overcome with a food-born malady? Were you struck down with terrible and acute food poisoning? Our injury attorneys at Ehline Law Firm represent food poisoning victims like you.
What’s the Deal With Tainted Food?
We have all gotten sick, or probably will, after we eat tainted foods. We have vast experience in food poisoning claims due to the number of victims who telephone our firm.
We can help the family if they lose someone or suffered serious injuries from food poisoning.
The taint of food is the fault of the:
How Did Your Food Go Bad?
Well, this is not as complicated as it may sound. If a food preparer fails to avoid bacteria filth, you can get sick or even die. Simple.
Can I Sue a Restaurant for Food Poisoning?
Here’s the thing. It is complicated to prove that you became ill from a particular food substance. Perhaps you saved the leftovers and have them as evidence and let’s say you even went so far as to have the food tested in a lab that indeed confirmed the presence of bacteria. It is effortless for the defense to argue that the food in question bred bacteria due to your negligence and that you left the food unrefrigerated so that bacteria could grow.
If cases like this were heard and ultimately won by plaintiffs that did such an unscrupulous thing – there would be no end to senseless and baseless litigation against food purveyors and restauranteurs. You likely are very upset that you became ill as a result of food poisoning. I know from personal experience that getting sick from something you ate is beyond aggravating, and if you’re anything like me, you’ve taken this unfortunate experience quite personal.
You likely have missed work, necessary appointments, and family functions due to being required to stay near a toilet or a puke basket. This is no fun. More often than not, we just let the bug run its course and get back to our daily lives with that little voice in the back of your mind, saying, “I’ll never eat at that place or that food again – EVER.” Also, it’s difficult to discern between food poisoning and the flu.
So in personal injury cases involving food poisoning, the attorney handling the case and the plaintiff must substantiate evidence and a righteous argument for remedy and compensation. Of equal importance is the protection of future patrons or persons who may also become ill due to a restaurant’s negligence and less-than-healthy handling of their food products.
What Happens When You Get Food Poisoning?
So it works like this. If you got struck down with an illness, you might be out of pocket or worse. And this holds even if you make a full recovery.
So you will want to get reimbursed. These can be expensive items too.
They could include:
Medical expenses for having your stomach pumped.
These items may include costs for:
All of this adds up. And it takes a trained lawyer to get it into evidence.
What About Your Lost Vacation Pay and Loss of Work and Home?
What if you:
Did you lose a job?
Burned up vacation time? That is also a loss.
At the end of the day, you may:
Many folks lose homes as they recover in health.
Examples include those forced into an extended hospital stay.
Some may have been unconscious in a lengthy coma.
Now that you are able, you may wonder if you can sue anyone. Whether you sue depends on the facts leading to your illness.
Could a Delay Mean Death to Your Case?
You must act like a bat out of hell to find the nexus of illness.
In cases with private defendants, a delay makes it harder.
For example, time lapses could pose roadblocks
You may fail to identify the place you ingested the food
Or records may disappear
Prepared what you ate.
Lines can blur the longer the wait. This could mean death in your case. And this is another reason to speak with a lawyer asap.
What About Food Recalls?
Some claims are made if a recall by the distributor or creator comes about.
Or a federal or state agency may issue warnings.
And cases like this are easier for pinning down liability. But this assumes you can prove you ate food that was the subject of the recall. No matter what, this is no task for the faint of heart. Roadblocks for people with no lawyer abound.
How Can a Personal Injury Lawyer Help Prove a Food Poisoning Case?
An attorney can help in many ways. A counselor with empathy and passion is best. Some of our lawyers have been victims of food poisoning.
Because of this, we know the devastation bestowed by these cases. And our personal experiences place us in your shoes.
Did You Know State and Local Laws are Mandating Food Safety?
National and state laws are to make sure what we eat is safe. Also, they can help cut down on levels of illness caused by inadequate preparation or storage.
But when regulations or regulators fail, the result could be illness or death. Every year there are thousands of cases of food poisoning across California.
What is the Definition of Food Poisoning?
Food poisoning is also known as a “food-borne illness.” And this is a catch-all term to describe ailments.
In any case, it gets spread with edible materials. Most of the time, it is degraded by microscopic bugs. And science calls these “pathogens” and “microbes.”
Are there Greater Risks to Kids and Elders?
Adults and little kids can get very sick or even die from lousy food exposure.
What About Mass Poisoning Epidemics?
Most of you have seen the media reports of poisoning epidemics.
For example, it happens with poorly cooked “fast food.”
Another example includes a Chinese restaurant that leaves food out in open steam bins.
Diced Chicken will start to go bad as soon as the heat goes too low.
Now and then, it is crossly tainted by poorly washed veggies. So beware of this issue.
Is Listeria Among The Most Dangerous Bacteria?
What are Bacterial Contaminants?
Listeria outbreaks from cantaloupes have killed many in the U.S., and state officials investigate new cases from fruits and canned goods.
Did You know that Listeriosis bacteria take up to two months before symptoms can take place? So after eating rotten melon, you may fail to understand why you are sick. So this is what we were talking about above.
It is hard to pin down liability with a long delay. And this is why it is so important to be vigilant. It helps to be abreast of the news. So look out for recalls if trying to figure out what made you sick.
Toxic poisoning, such as radiation or chemicals in your meal.
Virus outbreaks. It could be a worker sneezing into your food. That could give you the flu.
Parasitic creatures that latch to your body. They will use it as a host for sustenance. So you may have worms, or trichinosis from bad ham, etc.
Are E. coli and Salmonella The Most Common Bacteria?
Salmonella poisoning. Salmonella is the one we all seem to get at least once from the corner Chinese place. Mostly, this remains common bacteria.
And it is strongly tied to edible hosts.
Typical hosts include fouls.
By-products like eggs, broth, and meat are hosts.
Food workers spread Salmonella regularly. And this can happen by preparing two different types of foods on the same surface and failing to wash counters before handling other dish spreads.
Moreover, this heedlessly passes pathogens to other foods. So the entire kitchen becomes tainted.
And this is typical of a:
Norovirus outbreak on a cruise ship
Outbreaks are also common in seed and nut processing plants. Processing different items side by side is a significant problem. Or processing happens on the same machines on other occasions,
E. coli. – E. coli is a type of bacteria.
It is in the intestines of cattle, goats, sheep, deer, lamb, and buffalo.
And it gets spread at the slaughterhouse.
Animal droppings can get stepped on. Then they can get tracked into plants and housing on the bottoms of shoes.
Also, production equipment can get tainted. That can happen if their red mist is spread into the air.
This happens if carcass fluids spray in the air at slaughter.
By far, the most reported sicknesses from this pathogen is undercooked ground beef. (See source).
E. coli can be traced to things like washing and cleaning bean sprouts.
The same goes for mint leaves, ordinary lettuce, and other raw vegetables.
Many get washed with recycled irrigation water. Of course, that runoff water is infested with E. Coli.
What are Some Other Contaminant Types:
The list is long. There are many ways you can get sick.
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (“CDC”) oversees food safety. It estimates at least 76 million food poisonings happen every year in the U.S. (Read here).
But they only monitor reported cases. Many situations go unreported. By and many large victims get back on their feet and mention nothing.
The CDC claims around 400 and 500 reported outbreaks each year. (Read PDF here.) Episodes take place if a group of victims eats a lousy batch of corrupt foods.
News stories regularly mention cases of:
But poisoned veggies and fruits are not immune.
Cases of poisoned spinach, melons, and nuts have caused death.
Anything packaged on the same equipment or cooked in a restaurant can be tainted.
But a skilled attorney is usually required. Otherwise, you won’t be able to identify the sources of your sickness.
What About Mass versus Single Listeria Outbreaks?
When food poisoning affects one person, it is called a:
If it affects many, it is due to a group eating the same food.
This is called a mass outbreak.
And most single instances of food poisoning happen in a restaurant. Such places like a deli or school cafeterias are known for that.
But it is often from improper preparation or cleanliness.
Also, improper cold storage of foods is a problem. And this is standard for foods with mayonnaise or undercooked meats.
Many potential avenues of ingestion exist. Ehline Law has a background in these matters. And we can help you win your food poisoning lawsuit. Our client ratings and peer review reports verify this truth. Take a look at AVVO, Justia, and Circle of Legal Trust. They are stellar.
What Are The Various Symptoms of Food Poisoning?
The various symptoms of food illness are as follows:
Vomiting coupled with hacking & blood
Bloody stool coupled with diarrhea
Sore and cramping stomach muscles
Severe migraines like headaches, fever, and cold sweats
Major dehydration and physical exhaustion
Lack of Appetite, etc. (Source.)
Why Should You Be Careful not to Confuse Food Poisoning With a Cold?
Food poisoning gets confused with a cold or flu by moms, dads, and doctors. And it could be due to the fact many of the same symptoms are present. Both disorders have similar symptoms.
Because of this, many victims will have no clue they are sick from bad food.
So keep in mind, in some cases, mere hours pass before symptoms arise.
But significant delays can go by too.
So, in that case, it could take days from consumption to disorder.
And this is dependent on the disease and quantity ingested.
The doctor needs to identify the cause of the sickness. The goal is to prevent a misdiagnosis. Just because the symptoms can overlap, it doesn’t mean the cure is the same.
For example, antibiotics won’t work against viruses. And anti-viral meds won’t work against bacterial infections.
Injecting someone suffering from bacterial infection with a flu antigen cannot help. And it could make a victim sicker.
When is Food Poisoning Serious?
These are some symptoms of a potentially life-threatening food poisoning event:
Diarrhea that lasts for more than 72 hours
Fever higher than 101.5°F dry mouth
Dehydration or inability to keep down fluids blood in your urine or stools
Difficulty communicating or putting together speech.
How Did Your Food Become Defiled?
The last Listeria Cantaloupe outbreak reached a level of 84 people ill. And at least 15 deaths took place. The last thing you want is a doctor treating you for the wrong illness.
And you don’t want this as your health spirals downwards. Disease-causing microbes are too small for the human eye. Even a food preparer using the most modern methods can’t spot it. So the most sanitary food preparation cannot be failsafe.
Accidental food contamination can happen as follows:
Animal waste. Mammalian feces are plentiful on farms, equipment, and cages. Wherever an animal is corralled or housed, risks exist. Disease-causing microbes are present at these locations. And no matter how many steps you took to sanitize, it does not matter.
Slaughterhouse conditions. Deadly microbes are in nature. And they exist alongside healthy stocks. Some farm animals have microbes in their innards. But animals have built resistance to their natural germs. But humans do not have immunity. So that puts us at risk for animal-borne infection. This means humans who work as butchers, for example, are at a greater risk. So if blood spatters, it could infect workers. Also, a risk is present that workers will get exposed to toxicants. After all, that is an inherent part of the food-making process.
Lawn fertilizer and lawn care products. Chemicals and feces in fertilizer aid in the production of crops. But they can spread the microbes discussed above. These products can contaminate ground and public water supplies. And it may also ruin the crop and lawn pesticides contained inside. Deadly outbreaks of microorganisms come from processing plants. Tainted chemicals from pesticides and pathogens are traceable to dung. It could be adulterated rain irrigation, and groundwater. At times it gets used to clean vegetables and fruits. Farmers and others should make sure to enforce standards. That way they can prevent the spread of microscopic organisms.
Getting food ready to eat. Food prep is a common factor in the formation and spreading of poisons. Bacterium and diseases grow like crazy in a kitchen. Food preparers should receive sanitation training. That way, they can recognize some foods like raw fish and raw meat can kill. This is because they have greater trace levels of parasites or pathogens. But you can destroy most of these with proper cooking. This would include preventing contagion of food preparation surfaces. And it means sterilizing utensils. Disinfection with high heat on all dishes, forks, knives, spoons, and cutting boards is helpful. And other cooking surfaces should get de-sanitized. And this is how we nip the spread in the bud. The workers themselves must also decontaminate. Also, they should wash with soap, water, and prescribed germ-killing agents.
Poor food storage. As discussed, food left out at preparation warms rapidly. It is no longer cold and dormant. Just the opposite, it moves to a room temperature environment. And this is what multiplying organisms love. Remember, these creatures live in foods like raw oysters. As a matter of fact, the same goes for raw, or even cooked chicken. Lack of proper refrigeration and storage leads to sickness. And this illness is because table foods went to toxic microbe and parasite levels.
What Foods Have Regularly Been Consumed But Still Present A Poisoning Risk?
As discussed, many ways exist for food to get infected. But certain animal products can sully easier.
What do these above items have in common? They are farm products.
But other products like:
unpasteurized orange juice contains microbes and viruses too!
Mix these foods into “dishes” or stews, for example, and increase the risks.
An example would be a fajita dish of shrimp, fish, and beef. But what if it is only half-cooked? In fact, consuming combos of certain undercooked foods could be deadly. Eating raw oysters can literally mean taking your life into your hands.
What About Mitigating Your Chances of Food Poisoning?
Is Heat The Cook’s Friend?
Science shows that cooking time and temperature destroy microbes. But food handling and preparation is ultra important. And the great cooks and chefs know that heat is their friend.
Heat Helps Sanitize Eating Utensils?
Yes, it does. The heat helps sterilize eating and cooking utensils. Presumably steaming in a dishwasher will disinfect all the table wear.
Even-Heat and Soap Cannot 100% Sterilize Some Foods?
True. Be careful if rinsing and cleaning produce.
These items include:
Leafy veggies, such as spinach, and kale, cannot be 100% sterilized by washing. And this is why so many people go organic or refuse to eat raw. Again. Heat is your friend.
Beware Splashing Tainted Water
Keep your poultry, fish, and other foods covered. And no matter what, keep them away from the kitchen sink. You rinse food items here.
The last thing you want is to splash poisoned water onto foods or surfaces. Let alone do you want to get it in your eyes. After all, you could get infected yourself.
Tip: Look for the Health Rating Signs Where you Eat!
If you can afford to “eat out,” look for the State or County Health Dept. placard. It may be a sign in the display window. Or it will be inside the diner.
First, ensure they have an A rating health inspection result.
Take the popular corner Mexican restaurant, for example. Even if you go by reputation, make sure they use precautions. Make sure they keep you safe in their day-to-day operations.
And if you or a loved one has become ill from Listeria, get help. Some people can die from listeriosis bacteria. But it could be some other disease.
Have you been hospitalized for food poisoning in Los Angeles?
When hospitalization or medical attention is required in an emergency room due to food poisoning, you may wish to pursue legal remedy as well as set a precedent with the establishment that caused this so as to prevent others from becoming ill. Here is some information on a landmark food poisoning case. A Texas jury awarded the Castellano family a total of $1,100,000.00. In that case, the Texas Department of State Health Services identified food produced by SanGar Fresh Cut Produce as the source of listeriosis infections diagnoses in at least ten Texas residents over an 8-month period.
The culprit:Listeria Monocytogenes.
I bring up this case because the defendant had a documented history of infecting others via food poisoning. When there are instances of multiple people becoming seriously ill as a result of food handling and food care negligence on behalf of the defendant(s), as well as a documented history of events on record by health professionals and food care oversight organizations, your likelihood of succeeding in a food poisoning personal injury lawsuit increases substantially.
It’s not to say that your one-off event is not of importance or that it would not carry weight, especially and again, if a serious illness resulted from the poisoning. Still, when multiple people have fallen ill repeatedly over time, this is when the courts are most likely to rule in favor of the plaintiffs.
Death is Always a Possibility?
In rare cases, victims like you could even die– especially the very young or old. Ehline Law Firm has handled cases like this before, challenging reckless parties and defending victims.
We have studied California and federal regulations to see how to prevent future illnesses. Meanwhile, we need to be holding the offending party responsible. We see similar causes of common food poisoning.
Of special interest: Cruise ships seem to get hit often with listeria, califcivirus, Clostridium botulinum, and others.
What Does Ehline Law Firm Do To Find those Responsible?
We investigate the causes of the germs infecting the food. Also, this could include issues at the farm, in distribution, or preparation. In any event, we can help narrow down the exact cause and the culprit.
By finding the contaminant and point of error, we can determine if others became exposed.
Also, we research if the individual:
Restaurants sold this food in the same time-frame.
Then it makes stopping the errors or challenging them much easier.
Schedule a Free Case Review With Los Angeles Food Poisoning Attorneys
So we discussed the various injuries from food poisoning. We also discussed methods of prevention. Last, we covered getting paid if harmed by food poisoning. Ehline Law Firm can provide the legal help you need to get justice. We hold the negligent parties responsible.
In this type of lawsuit, multiple parties may exist.
So it may be that many defendants are liable to you.
Because of this, it is complex litigation.
And this is another reason to have experience by your side.
So contact the food poisoning attorneys at Ehline Law Firm. Reach them at (213) 596-9642.
Michael Ehline is an inactive U.S. Marine and world-famous legal historian. Michael helped draft the Cruise Ship Safety Act and has won some of U.S. history’s largest motorcycle accident settlements. Together with his legal team, Michael and the Ehline Law Firm collect damages on behalf of clients.
We pride ourselves on being available to answer your most pressing and difficult questions 24/7. We are proud sponsors of the Paul Ehline Memorial Motorcycle Ride and a Service Disabled Veteran Operated Business. (SDVOB.) We are ready to fight.