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Illinois Foodborne Illness LawyerWhen a person contracts food poisoning after eating foods that are contaminated with bacteria, viruses, or other toxins, they may experience multiple types of health issues. In addition to suffering from the effects of a foodborne illness, a person may experience other complications that can affect their health and well-being. Reactive arthritis is one of the most serious of these complications, and it can cause significant pain and discomfort while affecting a person’s ability to work and manage their daily activities.

What Is Reactive Arthritis?

While the causes of reactive arthritis are not fully understood, it is believed to be an autoimmune disorder that occurs because the body’s immune system attacks healthy tissues. While reactive arthritis is relatively rare, it can occur as part of the body’s response to gastrointestinal infections, including foodborne illnesses that occur because of salmonella, campylobacter, shigella, and yersinia. 

Symptoms of reactive arthritis will usually occur within one to six weeks after a person contracts a gastrointestinal infection, and they may last anywhere from a few weeks to a few months. In serious cases, a person may experience chronic, ongoing symptoms that affect their quality of life and their overall well-being. Symptoms may include:

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Illinois Food Poisoning LawyerThere are a variety of ways that foods and beverages can become contaminated with toxic substances. While food poisoning often occurs because of the presence of harmful viruses or bacteria, consumers may also suffer harm due to dangerous chemicals. One issue that may affect people is the presence of arsenic in wine or other foods and beverages. Those who are concerned about arsenic poisoning should be sure to understand how they may be affected. A person who has been exposed to toxic levels of arsenic can work with an attorney to determine their legal options.

High Levels of Arsenic in Certain Wines

Arsenic is a substance that occurs naturally, and it is found in soil, rock, and water. The concentration of arsenic is higher in certain regions, including areas where mining has occurred or where pesticides have been used on crops. Studies have looked at the arsenic concentration in certain types of wines, and they have found that some wines produced in California have contained dangerously high levels of arsenic. In many cases, these were inexpensive wines that were available for purchase throughout the United States.

In many cases, the levels of arsenic found in wines exceeded the amounts that the Environmental Protection Agency allows in drinking water. Researchers stated that arsenic exposure may be an issue for those who drink these wines while also consuming other foods that may contain arsenic, such as apple juice, rice, or seafood.

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Chicago foodborne illness injury lawyerThere are many reasons why foods served at restaurants can become contaminated by infectious diseases or other toxic substances. Workers may not follow the correct sanitary procedures, such as fully washing their hands, cleaning surfaces where foods are prepared, and ensuring that food is stored properly. These issues can result in contaminations that may cause food poisoning, and foodborne illnesses can also occur if foods are not fully cooked. The risks of food poisoning were illustrated recently in a case that took place in Bloomington, Illinois.

At Least 16 People Affected by Foodborne Illness

On April 7, 2021, the McLean County Health Department (MCHD) received reports from personnel at Illinois State University that a number of people had symptoms indicating food poisoning. The MCHD did not state how many people were affected or where the infections were believed to have occurred. However, later reports stated that at least 16 people were affected, and 15 of those were members of the university’s lacrosse team. The reports also identified a Jimmy John’s restaurant in Bloomington as the probable source of food poisoning, and this restaurant has closed while the investigation is ongoing.

The MCHD has not yet identified the specific illness that affected the restaurant’s customers. Several of the people who contracted illnesses were hospitalized due to severe vomiting and diarrhea. These symptoms are consistent with food poisoning that may have been caused by bacteria or viruses such as:

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Chicago food poisoning attorneyYou have likely had the experience of eating a meal that tasted great at a restaurant, but quickly turned to days filled with a sick stomach. When you go out to eat, you expect to have a safe and healthy experience along with tasting great food. Unfortunately, eating at a restaurant can sometimes result in food poisoning. In fact, approximately 48 million cases of food poisoning occur each year. 

Depending on how the food was prepared and whether or not the restaurant’s cooking surfaces were properly sanitized, certain germs that are consumed can lead to food poisoning. This illness can range from mild to severe depending on the germs that you ingested and the way that your body reacts to them. 

If you have experienced any of the following symptoms after consuming contaminated food, you may have been a victim of food poisoning, and you may be able to take legal action:

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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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