Food poisoning, as anyone who has had it knows, is an awful experience. It is also extremely dangerous, especially for people with compromised immune systems, the elderly and the young. An estimated 76 million Americans contract food-borne illnesses every year, and of these, 5,000 people die.
Food poisoning is caused by pathogens (bacteria, viruses and parasites) in food that we eat. Some food poisoning is also caused by heavy metals in food. In the United States, heavy-metal and parasitic illnesses are relatively rare, although both are serious concerns and remain responsible for countless illnesses and deaths in developing countries. By far the more common food-borne illnesses in the United States are caused by bacteria and viruses.
Most food-borne illnesses are caused by cross contamination on a small scale – like in your kitchen.
Large Scale Outbreaks of Food Poisoning
The scariest and most widely publicized food-borne illnesses are large scale outbreaks caused by contaminated consumer products. We trust business to use safe and sanitary practices in the manufacture, processing, packaging, and delivery of food that we eat. At the very least, we expect companies in the business of supplying food to take whatever steps are necessary to ensure that the food they sell us will not make us sick or kill us. Unfortunately, greed and negligence cause some companies to cut corners to increase profits.
If you contracted a food-borne illness from a consumer product, you need a good lawyer. The food companies will do everything they can to avoid paying for your medical bills, lost time from work, pain, suffering and long-term health effects. There are a lot of choices in lawyers – click here to see what to look for in a good food-poisoning lawyer.
The best thing you can do if you contract food poisoning from a consumer product or restaurant – for yourself and everyone else that may get sick from the same food source – is to go to the doctor and get checked out. If incidents are not reported, then local, state and federal authorities cannot investigate a potential outbreak and warn other consumers. You should also hire an attorney – not just so you can be compensated for your injuries, but also to send a message to greedy companies that it is expensive to behave badly.
We will not stand for companies putting their profits in front of our safety.