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Foodborne Illness

Every year in the United States the World Health Organization estimates that there are 76 million cases of Foodborne illness (food poisoning), and of those, 325,000 people are are hospitalized and 5,000 people die each year. With the increasing globalization of food production and distribution, Foodborne diseases that were once limited to a small area may now occur on a global-wide scale.  Outbreaks of Salmonellosis due to contaminated ice cream or bags of spinach in the past few years have affected hundreds of thousands of people. An E-coli bacterium in meat products and hamburgers also sicken and kill thousands every year.

The most common forms of Foodborne diseases include:

  • Campylobacter
  • E-coli
  • Hepatitis A
  • Listeria monocytogenes
  • Salmonella
  • Shigella

Symptoms of a Foodborne illness usually occur from within several hours to a few days of consuming a food. Foodborne illness can result in permanent health problems and even death. Pregnant women and their fetuses, infants, young children, the elderly, people with liver disease and people with compromised immune symptoms are especially susceptible to the ravages of the illness.  Listeria during pregnancy can cause a woman to miscarry. Patients often have to be hospitalized for dehydration and some experience severe complications like the shutdown of major organ systems. Foodborne illness is also the major cause of reactive arthritis which can occur within 1-3 weeks after onset. 

Symptoms of Foodborne illness may include:

  • Dehydration
  • Diarrhea, bloody diarrhea
  • Fatigue
  • Fever
  • Headache
  • Nausea
  • Severe abdominal pain
  • Vomiting

The State’s role in food poisoning is to provide strict hygiene rules to farming, restaurants, and food service purveyors such as shops and restaurants. When a food purveyor fails to follow these rules, for example a restaurant fails to store their meat or fish at a safe temperature, fails to enforce sanitation procedures of hand washing or has cross contamination of food; they may be liable for negligence.

If you need an attorney for a case of serious illness due to food poisoning, The Farber Law Group has more than 30 years experience. Herbert G. Farber, Esq., won a sizable settlement for a Washington State young boy who became seriously ill after eating at a popular fast food restaurant. Contact The Farber Law Group  today for a free consultation.

Washington Injury Attorney Blog: Foodborne Illness
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