Food poisoning, or food borne illness, occurs when pathogens, parasites or toxins contaminate a food source. When the contaminated food is consumed, it can cause illness. Food poisoning is fairly common occurrence. Some estimate that as many as 76 million case of food poisoning occur in the U.S. each year. Most of these cases are mild and are never attributed to a single food source. There are instances of severe food poisonings, however, that can lead to serious illness or even death. If you or a loved one has been the victim of food poisoning, you may have a personal injury or wrongful death case against either the food seller or processor (or both) of the contaminated food.
Proving Food Poisoning Lawsuits
Proving that an illness was the result of exposure to a particular food can be challenging. In a successful case, the plaintiff must prove the defendant’s negligence or intentional wrongdoing in handling, preparing or storing the food in question. The plaintiff must also prove that the defendant’s negligence or intentional wrongdoing caused the food to be contaminated. Finally, the plaintiff must show that he or she was injured as a result of consuming the contaminated food. Proving a food poisoning claim typically requires the testimony of expert witnesses in a variety of disciplines including medicine, microbiology and food safety.
Common Causes of Food Poisoning
There are many different types of pathogens, parasites and toxins that can cause food poisoning. Here are some of the most common ones:
- E. coli
- Campylobacter jejuni (C. jejuni)
Salmonella is commonly found in infected chicken, fish and shrimp. It can be killed by cooking. E. Coli, Campylobacter and Shigella usually contaminate food when through the poor hygiene of food handlers. These pathogens typically cause symptoms that include:
- Nausea and vomiting
- Abdominal cramps
- Muscle pain
- Weakness and fatigue
If you or a loved one has been the victim of food poisoning, the lawyers at Ankin Law Office can help determine if you have a claim. Cases of widespread food contamination may result a class action lawsuit. Contact us today to discuss your case.