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How to Respond to Food Poisoning

  • Dec 09 2013
  • Gilleon Law Firm

The U.S. Department of Agriculture recently announced a salmonella outbreak linked to chicken grown by West Coast Foster Farms. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) reported that as of October 7, 2013, 278 people from 17 states were infected with strains of salmonella — and 213 of the 278 were from California. Foster Farms announced that instead of recalling its chicken products from the three central California processing plants connected to the salmonella outbreak, it was establishing additional safety practices.

Approximately 42,000 incidents of salmonella are reported every year, and the CDC estimates that more than 1 million cases are not reported.

The main causes

Salmonella is the primary cause of hospitalizations and deaths caused by known pathogens transmitted to food. Other culprits include noroviruses, E. coli O157, clostridium perfringens, toxoplasma, listeria and campylobacter. The CDC estimates that 48 million people become sick every year from food contamination.

Responding to food poisoning

Suffering from food poisoning can be frightening. The associated stomach cramps, diarrhea and vomiting can be very painful. Here are steps to take if you are suffering from possible food poisoning:

  • Go to the doctor or hospital immediately — Nausea and diarrhea can quickly lead to dehydration and other complications.
  • Record what you ate — As soon as possible, write down what you ate and drank and when and where.
  • Do not throw anything away — If you suspect one or two foods, preserve them and their packaging so that no other foods contaminate them.
  • Keep your receipts — Maintaining the original receipt or credit record records may help prove where you bought the food that caused your illness.
  • Contact your lawyer — When you are physically able to communicate effectively, contact a San Diego personal injury lawyer to help you gather and preserve important evidence to strengthen your lawsuit.
  • File a report with the health department — After contacting a lawyer, file a report with the local health department, which enables you to learn about other incidents.
  • Prepare your evidence — Maintain all receipts from doctor visits, medicine and credit card statements, and keep a record of how many days of work you missed and your total lost wages.

The parties who caused the food contamination are responsible for any damage caused by the food poisoning. Possible liable parties include restaurants, food distributors, growers, processors and suppliers.

If you suspect you have consumed contaminated food that caused food poisoning, call our San Diego products liability lawyer for a free consultation.


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