Food Injury

Have you, a relative or partner been overcome with a food born malady? Were you struck down with terrible, and acute food poisoning? Our personal injury attorneys at Ehline Law Firm represent food poisoning victims like you.

Woman with food poisoning
Woman with food borne illness throwing up in toilet

Table of Contents:

What's the Deal With Tainted Food?

We have all gotten sick, or probably will after we eat tainted foods. As a matter of fact, 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 lost someone, or suffered serious injuries from food poisoning.

The taint of food is the fault of the:

  • Distributor
  • Maker
  • Store
  • Restaurant

How Did Your Food Go Bad?

Well, this is really not as complicated as it may sound. If a food preparer fails to avoid bacteria filth, you can get sick, or even die. Simple.

  • 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 true 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:

  • Charcoal pills
  • Pain meds
  • Antibiotics

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:

  • Lost a job?
  • Burned up vacation time? That is also a loss.

At the end of the day, you may:

  • Become homeless
  • Get evicted
  • 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

Examples are:

  • Who made
  • Grew, or
  • Prepared what you ate

Lines can blur the longer the wait. All things considered, this could mean death for 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 Can 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.

What is the Definition of Food Poisoning?

Food poisoning is also known as “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 adulterated 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 bad 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 cross 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 Listerosis bacteria takes up to two months before symptoms can take place. So after eating bad melon, you may fail to know why you are sick. So this is what we were talking about above.

It is hard to pin down liability with a long delay. 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.

What are Some of the Many Types of Food Foulness?

Science indicates that remain at least 250 unique grades of food poisoning. (See CDC Website here).

An easy way to broadly order them is as follows:

  • Toxic poisoning such as radiation, or chemicals in your meal.
  • Bacterial contamination.
  • Virus outbreaks. Could be a worker sneezing into your food. That could give you the flu.
  • Parasitic creatures that latch to your body. In fact, they will use 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. This is ordinary bacteria.

And it is strongly tied to edible hosts.

  • Typical hosts include foul.
  • By-products like eggs, broth, and meat are hosts.
  • Food-workers spread Salmonella on a regular basis. This can happen by preparing two different types of foods on the same surface. Failing to wash counters before handling different dishes spreads.

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 major problem. Or processing happens on the same machines on different 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.
  • Same goes with 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.

  • Salmonella
  • Botulism
  • Bacillus cereus
  • Campylobacter
  • Cholera
  • Fish poisoning
  • Mushroom poisoning
  • Shigella
  • Yersinia

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 large many victims get back on their feet and mention nothing.

  • The CDC claims around 400 and 500 reported outbreaks each year. (Read PDF here.) Outbreaks take place if a group of victims eats a bad batch of corrupt foods.

News stories regularly mention cases of:

  • Bad hamburgers
  • Tacos
  • Fish
  • 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:

  • Single outbreak

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. So 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 the 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 on 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:

  • Vertigo
  • Nausea
  • 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, some cases mere hours pass before symptoms arise.
  • But great 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.

It is vital for the doctor to identify the cause of 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 a bacterial infection with a flu antigen cannot help. And it could make a victim sicker.

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 an 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 disease 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, 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, 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 are Regularly Consumed But Still A Poisoning Risk?

As discussed, many ways exist for food to get infected. But certain animal products can sully easier.

These include:

  • Raw meat
  • Clams
  • Shellfish
  • Raw milk
  • Kefir
  • Poultry
  • Eggs

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 under-cooked 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. Heat helps also 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:

  • Fruits
  • Vegetables
  • Salad trimmings

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 and foremost, make sure 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.

Ehline Law – Holding Food Poisoning Defendants Legally Responsible.

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.