Food Poisoning and Foodborne Illnesses
Although many people are lucky enough to avoid suffering from food poisoning, an increasingly high number of individuals are still admitted to the hospital complaining of the symptoms of food poisoning on a daily basis. In fact, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) estimated that around 128,000 people are hospitalized every year for foodborne illnesses.
These statistics are especially alarming because they do not take into account the number of people who suffer from food poisoning and do not go to the hospital, a number that is estimated to exceed 48 million. Foodborne illnesses can have serious consequences, so if you suffered from food poisoning after eating at a restaurant or purchasing food from a grocery store, it is important to speak with an experienced personal injury attorney who can walk you through the claim filing process.
What are Foodborne Illnesses?
Foodborne illnesses are the result of consuming food that has been contaminated with dangerous bacteria or viruses. Most of these types of illnesses are the result of improperly preparing, cooking, or storing animal products, such as meat and eggs, although failing to clean, refrigerate, or cook certain food products can also lead to the growth of bacteria, parasites, and viruses, such as:
- E. coli;
- Clostridium botulinum;
- Staphylococcus aureus;
- Listeria; and
These germs can cause serious illnesses that if left untreated, could lead to hospitalization. This is especially true for certain kinds of individuals who are more at risk of suffering from foodborne diseases, including:
- Young children;
- Elderly adults;
- Pregnant women; and
- Those with immune systems that have been weakened by medical conditions, such as diabetes, kidney or liver disease, or those who have received chemotherapy.
Most people who suffer from foodborne illnesses get better after a few days of rest and hydration. However, individuals who fall under one of the aforementioned categories who are suffering from one of the following symptoms should immediately seek medical care:
- Diarrhea; and
- Stomach cramps.
These kinds of symptoms can quickly lead to dehydration, which can be deadly in the very young and very old.
In Texas, food products that are sold for human consumption fall under an implied warranty that the products are safe to ingest. When a person becomes ill after eating or drinking a certain contaminated food product, he or she can collect compensation under the legal theory of a breach of implied warranty by proving that:
- The product was defective;
- The defect existed when the product left the defendant’s control;
- The defect made the product unreasonably dangerous to the consumer; and
- The consumer was injured after ingesting the contaminated product.
These types of suits can be brought against a variety of entities, including manufacturers and food vendors. Unfortunately, it can be difficult to convince a court that a certain food product was the cause of an injury, so those who are suffering from foodborne illnesses are encouraged to preserve packing materials or uneaten food that caused the illness, as well as receipts and credit card records showing the purchase.
Contact a Dedicated Houston Personal Injury Attorney
Please call Michael P. Fleming & Associates, P.C. at 737-201-0543 to discuss your own foodborne illness case with an experienced attorney. Initial consultations are conducted free of charge.