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Chicago food poisoning attorneysYour child’s health is of great importance to you as a parent, and you do not want to think that the food you have given them may have made them sick. Unfortunately, children can be victims of food poisoning and, depending on the type of food poisoning, they could be even more vulnerable to the symptoms than adults. Assuming that you have taken precautions about food safety, it is possible that the food producer or restaurant may be responsible for your child’s food poisoning, which may mean that you can receive compensation for their pain and suffering by filing a lawsuit.

How to Identify Food Poisoning in Children

There are several common symptoms that may appear in people who are suffering from foodborne illnesses, including:

  • Nausea or vomiting
  • Diarrhea
  • Fever
  • Headaches

Because there are multiple illnesses that could cause these same symptoms, you may not know for certain whether your child’s illness is food poisoning without a diagnosis from their pediatrician. The pediatrician will likely want to know a history of the meals that your child has recently eaten. Even if you did not get food poisoning from eating the same meal as your child, your child may have been more vulnerable to the harmful bacteria in the food if they have a weaker immune system.

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Illinois food poisoning attorneysFood poisoning is a common sickness that some people will unavoidably suffer from. Even with all of the regulations on the food industry in the United States, the U.S. Food and Drug Administration reports that one in six people contract food poisoning each year. You may think you know how to prevent food poisoning and what to do if you get it. However, there are common misconceptions about food poisoning that can lead to mistakes in identifying the source of the poisoning and treating it. 

Avoiding these misconceptions if you plan to file a food poisoning lawsuit:

  1. I Cannot Get Food Poisoning If I Wash and Fully Cook My Food: Proper food preparation is one of the most important ways that you can reduce the risk of food poisoning but is not guaranteed to prevent it. Some strains of bacteria are resistant to hot and cold temperatures. Washing and scrubbing the food may not be enough if the bacteria has spread inside of the skin or surface.
  2. What I Most Recently Ate Must Have Caused My Sickness: Some bacteria cause food poisoning symptoms within hours of ingestion, but there are others that take days or more than a week before you notice the symptoms. With this in mind, you need to recount what you have eaten for several days before you started feeling sick.
  3. That Meal Could Not Have Made Me Sick Because Other People Were Fine: Multiple people becoming sick after eating the same meal is a likely sign of food poisoning. However, you cannot discount a meal as the source of your food poisoning just because no one else reported being sick. People respond differently to the same bacteria based on factors such as how strong their immune system is.
  4. Stomach Problems Are the Only Symptoms of Food Poisoning: Most food poisoning cases have similar symptoms related to your digestive system, such as stomach pain, vomiting, and diarrhea. However, food poisoning can cause other chronic ailments. Food poisoning cases have been connected to joint pain, nerve damage, and kidney failure.
  5. I Do Not Need to See a Doctor: Many people recover from food poisoning on their own after a few days of rest. They may see a doctor only if their symptoms become bad enough that it is a medical emergency. You should not wait until you are hospitalized before getting treated for your food poisoning. A doctor can identify what type of food poisoning you have and how it should be treated.

Contact a Chicago Foodborne Illness Attorney

One more misconception about food poisoning is that you do not need to file a lawsuit against the liable party. Food poisoning can result in expensive medical bills, lost time at work, and long-term symptoms. An Illinois food poisoning lawyer at Newland & Newland, LLP, will make sure you receive the compensation you deserve for your illness. To schedule a consultation, call 312-981-0409.

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Chicago food poisoning attorneysMany food products are recalled in the U.S. each year because of the risk of food poisoning related to the products. Unfortunately, the recalls often do not occur until after at least several people become sick from eating the food. For instance, Wawona Packing Company recalled packages of peaches in August because of suspected salmonella contamination after 68 confirmed cases and 14 hospitalizations. The peaches are sold in Aldi stores in nine states, including Illinois. Despite efforts to warn the public, some people become sick from eating a contaminated product even after a recall. To protect yourself, you need to know where to find information on food recalls and what to do if you have a recalled product.

How Do I Learn About Food Recalls?

Food recall orders often originate from the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), which are the government organizations that investigate outbreaks of foodborne illness. Sometimes, the producer will issue a voluntary recall of the product after it learns of possible contamination. National and local media will often report prominent food recalls, and the FDA and CDC can also communicate directly with the public through social media. If you want to be proactive in learning about food recalls, you can sign up for food safety alerts from the FDA and CDC or check their websites, where they post details about recent recalls.

What Should I Do If I Have a Recalled Product?

The recall notice will give instructions on how to identify a recalled product and possible health risks related to the product. If you find a recalled food product at your home, you should:

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Chicago food poisoning attorneysThomson International, Inc. has issued a voluntary recall of its red, white, yellow, and sweet yellow onions due to a salmonella outbreak that has spread across 34 states. There have been 396 confirmed cases of salmonella, including 10 in Illinois, and 59 reported hospitalizations. The U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) has been investigating the multi-state outbreak of a strain called Salmonella Newport, with illnesses starting as early as June 19. It traced back the illness to red onions sold by Thomson International, who issued the recall on Aug. 1. The FDA has not yet ruled out whether the contaminated onions could be coming from more than one supplier.

Details About the Recall

Though the FDA believes that red onions were the source of the salmonella, the recall includes all varieties of Thomson International’s onions because of the risk of cross-contamination. Thomson International distributes its onions to retailers, restaurants, and wholesalers in all 50 states and has several different labels, including:

  • El Competitor
  • Hartley’s Best
  • Food Lion
  • Imperial Fresh
  • Majestic
  • Kroger
  • Onions 52
  • Tender Loving Care
  • Thomson Premium
  • TLC Thomson International
  • Utah Onions

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) advises anyone who believes they have purchased a carton or sack of the contaminated onions to throw it out immediately, sanitize any surfaces that the onions may have contacted, and dispose of any other foods that the onions may have contaminated. To prevent infection from onions used in restaurants, you should ask the preparer where the onions came from. If you cannot confirm whether the onions have been recalled, it is advised that you do not eat them.

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Illinois Salad Producer Has Third Food Poisoning Incident in Last Three YearsThe number of people who have been affected by the cyclospora salad outbreak has increased since we last reported it in June. As of July 24, 641 people in 11 states are confirmed to have contracted cyclospora, as well as more than 100 other people in Canada. Illinois has been the state with the most people infected, with 241 reported cases. Dozens of people have been hospitalized but no one has died. The cyclospora outbreak was linked to garden salads produced by Fresh Express in its Streamwood, Illinois, facility. Fresh Express has recalled the packaged salads, which were sold under various names at Jewel-Osco, ALDI, Walmart, Giant Eagle, Hy-Vee, and ShopRite. The fact that this is the third food poisoning outbreak in three years connected to Fresh Express and its Streamwood facility gives an additional reason for concern.

2018 Cyclospora Outbreak

From May to July in 2018, 511 people from 15 states, including Illinois, contracted cyclospora after eating salads sold at McDonald’s restaurants in the Midwest. Fresh Express was the supplier for McDonald’s salads at the time, and the U.S. Food and Drug Administration reported that a package of romaine lettuce and carrots from the Streamwood facility had tested positive for cyclospora. McDonald’s stopped selling salads that it purchased from Fresh Express and switched to a different supplier.

2019 E. Coli Outbreak

In November 2019, 10 people from five states, including one from Illinois, contracted a strain of E. coli that the FDA believed originated from Fresh Express Sunflower Crisp chopped salad kits. The strain of E. coli was different from the strain in a concurrent incident involving contaminated romaine lettuce grown in California. The FDA was unable to determine which ingredient in the salad kit was contaminated and announced that the outbreak was over on Jan. 15.

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