People in the United States love to eat out. Whether at a restaurant, café, food truck, or whether we buy the makings for a picnic lunch, we love the experience. Unfortunately, the experience is often tainted by food-borne illnesses and food poisonings. If you believe you got very ill and needed treatment for these reasons, contact a San Francisco food poisoning lawyer for help.
How Food Poisoning Happens
There are hundreds of foodborne pathogens that can cause food poisoning. Some of the more common ones are:
- Staphylococcus aureus (Staph),
- Clostridium botulinum (botulism), and
- Escherichia coli (E. Coli).
According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), approximately 48 million people become ill with a foodborne illness or food poisoning each year in the United States. Of that number, approximately 128,000 are hospitalized, and approximately 3,000 people die. The numbers are staggering.
And while the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) is supposed to protect people from food poisoning, the FDA, like many administrative agencies, is often backlogged and unable to effectively protect people with their limited resources. Thus, a food poisoning incident often affects many people before the food is either recalled or the safety issue is resolved.
Complicating the matter, while some foodborne illnesses will make themselves known in a few hours, others may take days or weeks. Most people have difficulty remembering what they ate several days before – much less a week or two before.
Injuries Can Be Serious
Some food poisoning can produce mild symptoms, but others can produce serious symptoms, even death. This is especially true in young children and in the elderly. For example, norovirus is most often contracted either from another infected person or from contaminated foods and surfaces. It can produce nausea, stomach pain, and vomiting. This is what we mistakenly think of as the “stomach flu.” It is highly contagious. Most people feel quite ill for several days.
On the other end of the spectrum, listeria can hide in many types of food and cause a serious infection. It is typically found in melons, deli meats, raw milk, and soft cheeses. Listeria can be problematic in that symptoms may not occur until at least one week after eating the food product. Pregnant women and their unborn babies, in particular, are at risk. The result can be a miscarriage or stillborn birth. The elderly and newborns are also at particular risk. The CDC estimates that listeria infection is the third most deadly type of foodborne illness.
Botulism and E Coli are also serious and can cause death in addition to other serious symptoms. Botulism is a toxin that affects the nerves and can cause paralysis, difficulty breathing, and death. Botulism can occur in improperly canned and fermented foods. E Coli is a grouping of diverse bacteria, some of which are less serious and some of which are quite serious. Contracting E Coli can result in pneumonia, urinary tract infections, and other respiratory conditions.
Agribusiness and Foodborne Illnesses
There is always corporate pressure to produce more food and to produce it more quickly. Fecal contamination and other toxic contamination can result when corners are cut. As a result, foodborne illnesses have become commonplace. Meats, fruit, vegetables are all subject to contamination.
It is time to fight back and to hold these businesses accountable for their shoddy and unsafe practices that lead to illness. If you or a loved one has been a victim of food poisoning in the Bay Area, contact a San Francisco Food Poisoning Lawyer as soon as possible. Fighting back not helps not only you, but it also serves to protect others. Help put safety ahead of profit.
Free Consultation with an Experienced San Francisco Food Poisoning Lawyer
We are here to help you get the compensation you deserve. Our team at The Cartwright Law Firm is highly skilled and compassionate. We know that it can feel daunting to fight back. But it is important. We offer a free case evaluation so that you can see what we can do to help you. Please call us at 415-433-0444, or contact us online today.