6 Common Questions about Food Poisoning and Personal Injury

Denver's Babcock Law Firm answers a few questions about causes of food poisoning, symptoms and steps to avoid getting sick

You just enjoyed a wonderful dinner at a popular restaurant with family and friends. It was a good night and enjoyable dinner until a few hours later when you begin feeling sick.  Next thing you know, so does the rest of your family. You are all down for the count – absolute nightmare. Since all of you are sick at the same time, there can be only one explanation, food poisoning!

The food looked and tasted great, so you ask "how could this have happened?" Unfortunately, food that is contaminated can be overlooked because most of the time – it looks, smells or tastes no different than food that is not contaminated.

  1. What exactly is food poisoning?

    Food poisoning can occur when someone eats or drinks something that contains bacteria and parasites that leave viruses, chemicals or toxins. WebMD tells us that there are approximately 9.4 million diagnosed food poisoning illnesses per year and 39 million cases are unspecified (undiagnosed). Each year, as many as 128,000 people are hospitalized and about 3,000 die from food poisoning.

    Food poisoning plays no favorites – it can happen to anyone, including infants.   If this has happened to you or a loved one, you may have a valid personal injury claim.

  2. What are the symptoms of food poisoning?

    People can have different symptoms and many can appear as if you are getting a virus. The symptoms vary according to which organs the poison attacks.  The most common symptoms of food poisoning include:

    • Nausea
    • Diarrhea
    • Vomiting
    • Abdominal Cramping

    Severe symptoms that indicate a "heavy" food poisoning include:

    • Fever
    • Renal or liver problems
    • Severe dehydration
    • Neurological problems
    • Bloody diarrhea

  3. What are the most common types of food poisoning?

    Common sources of foods contaminated with infectious microorganisms include undercooked eggs, chicken, and poultry, or any undercooked or raw food that comes from animals, such as seafood, meat, milk, and dairy products. Any food or beverage can become contaminated with infectious microorganisms if it is handled by someone with unwashed hands, or if it comes in contact with contaminated food or liquids. Here is a list of the common types of poisoning:

    • Botulism is caused by Clostridium botulinum bacteria.
    • Campylobacteriosis is caused by Campylobacter bacteria.
    • Cryptosporidiosis (Cryptosporidium enteritis) is caused by Cryptosporidium protozoa.
    • Escherichia coli food poisoning is caused by eating food or beverages contaminated with certain types of E. coli bacteria.
    • Listeriosis is caused by Listeria monocytogenes bacteria.
    • Mushroom poisoning is caused by eating poisonous mushrooms.
    • Shigellosis is caused by Shigella bacteria.
    • Staphyloenterotoxicosis is caused by Staphylococcus bacteria.

  4. How do I treat food poisoning?

    Vomiting and diarrhea will most likely be the two worst symptoms of the food poisoning.  The poison needs to get out of your system so do not take any medications to stop this unless otherwise instructed by your doctor.  Once you can keep something in your system, drink plenty of clear liquids because dehydration can be a huge problem.  Stay away from caffeine, greasy foods and sweets until you are much better. If you are unable to keep any fluids down after a period of time, intravenous fluids may become necessary.

    If you or your loved are unable to keep fluids down after a few hours, get to your nearest emergency room as soon as possible. Dehydration can be especially damaging for younger children and older adults. 

  5. What are some tips to avoid food poisoning?

    Proper food handling is the single best way to avoid food poisoning. Steps include:

    • Wash hands before handling food
    • Clean any surfaces that come in contact with food with an antibacterial cleanser
    • Keep cold foods at 40°F or less
    • Keep hot foods above 140°F

    Food poisoning doesn't have to occur as often as it does.  If each and every person, restaurant and food manufacturer followed these guidelines, there would be much fewer cases.

  6. How do I make a personal injury claim for my food poisoning?

    Food poisoning is often due to negligence on the part of food handlers, processors and restaurants. If you believe the food you or a loved one ate caused you to get sick, contact a Colorado attorney today to discuss your case.

You may have a very strong case and could be compensated for your suffering from food poisoning. Click here to learn more about proving your claim, along with statute of limitations and other important information...

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