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Marijuana Products Can Be Source of Mold, BacteriaA group of researchers has warned about the dangers of smoking or consuming marijuana, but not for the reason that you may expect. A 2017 study published in the journal “Clinical Microbiology and Infection” found mold and bacteria in the medicinal marijuana products being sold in northern California. The study’s authors said that the pathogens were so widespread that they could not recommend that anyone inhale or ingest raw or dried marijuana. The study highlights the potential dangers of commercial marijuana products in states such as Illinois, which is scheduled to legalize recreation marijuana at the start of 2020. A tainted marijuana product could cause severe illness or even death.

Contaminants Found

The 2017 study claimed that marijuana sold in California dispensaries tested positive for several harmful substances, including:

  • The fungi Cryptococcus, Mucor and Aspergillus; and
  • The bacteria E. coli, Klebsiella pneumoniae, and Acinetobacter baumannii.

Whether through smoking or edibles, the fungi and bacteria can contaminate the user’s body and cause infection. People with weakened immune systems are at the greatest risk of becoming ill. The study’s authors could not confirm whether the heat of putting marijuana into baked goods or creating extracts would be enough to kill the fungi and bacteria.

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Salmonella Outbreak in Chicago Area

People in the Chicago area have recently been warned that there has been a salmonella outbreak at a grocery store in the Archer Heights neighborhood that has already infected six people. The people became sick after eating carnitas and other foods they purchased at the kitchen counter of the Supermercado Rivera according to the Chicago Department of Public Health.

Anyone who ate the food may have been exposed to the bacteria, and anyone who took the food home and froze it has been advised to discard the possible contaminated items. The food items in question are no longer available, and the store employees have been educated on proper food handling, as well as the dangers of improper handling techniques and storage.

What is Salmonella?

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Illinois food poisoning injury attorneyHealth is one of the most important things in life, and most of us do whatever we can to stay in good physical condition. The foods we consume play a large role in our physical health, and sometimes, food poisoning can happen if certain foods are not prepared properly.

According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), approximately 48 million people in America become sick from various types of food poisoning every year, and 128,000 of these cases result in hospitalization. Foodborne illnesses can be fatal, and anyone who prepares food should take the following steps to avoid the risk of infection:

  • Wash hands and clean cooking surfaces: Germs on an individual’s hands can spread to countertops and utensils, so it is important to wash one’s hands before cooking. Also, fruits and vegetables should be washed to remove any residual dirt or germs.
  • Keep raw food separate: Several types of bacteria can be found in raw meat and vegetables, with E. Coli being the most common. When preparing food, raw meat should be fully cooked before it is incorporated with the rest of the meal.
  • Cook to the correct temperature: All meats have an internal temperature they should be cooked to in order to kill the bacteria within. A meat thermometer should be used to ensure that the meat is cooked to the proper temperature.
  • Keep perishable foods in a refrigerator: Meats and dairy products are examples of perishable foods that should be stored in a refrigerator before and after a meal is prepared. Keeping perishables in a room temperature environment nurtures bacteria growth and increases the risk of food poisoning.

How Can I Protect Myself When Dining Out?

Thanks to the internet, consumers are able to read reviews about a certain restaurant before dining there. Other patrons can post reviews for future diners to make sure the establishment is clean and the food is prepared properly. When at a restaurant, consumers can protect themselves by:

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Medical Malpractice Lawsuit Settled for Improper Treatment of Elderly Patient

An elderly patient was diagnosed with cancer in 2015. What he did not know was that he also had a dormant form of Hepatitis B. While that may not seem like a big deal, it became a huge problem. Before beginning chemotherapy treatments, the patient should have been administered an antiviral medication to treat the Hepatitis. Failure to do so could result in the chemotherapy activating the dormant virus.

In this situation, that is exactly what happened. The patient was issued the chemotherapy without the antiviral treatment and the patient ultimately died from acute liver failure due to the Hepatitis B becoming active. The patient's family filed a medical malpractice lawsuit against the medical facility and the case was resolved within six months of the case being filed.

What is the Difference Between Medical Malpractice and Medical Negligence?

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You Got Food Poisoning. Now What?
From romaine lettuce to ground turkey, a number of foods can cause food-borne illnesses. While some cases of food poisoning are fairly mild, others may result in extreme sickness and even death. However, no matter the severity, you shouldn't just “excuse” a food poisoning instance.
“What's most important, is that people who get food poisoning should know they are entitled to compensation,” states Gary Newland, an injury attorney and partner at Newland & Newland Law. “The reality is, you were poisoned. A food poisoning case is a product liability case. A restaurant or a preparer of food is held to strict liability, because this is such a serious, serious thing. The government says they are strictly liable for the damage they cause an injured person.”

First Things First
Before considering the legality of the issue, Newland advises individuals to take safety actions as soon as they suspect they might be ill. “Anyone who suspects they have food poisoning should go to a hospital immediately,” he notes. “The other important process to follow is to contact the health department. The reason it's important to contact the health department is because you can save lives.”
Individuals who are otherwise healthy may be able to tolerate the sickness—or even fend it off—but those with compromised immune systems could be at risk for a devastating impact. These groups include children, senior citizens, and anyone with a chronic medical condition.
If the health department determines the sickness was caused by a specific product, they will ensure that product is taken off the market to prevent further exposure.

Identifying the Culprit
Unless a suspected food can be tested, there's no definitive way to identify it as the culprit. That said, there are many cases when a suspicion can be traced back to a specific food or food establishment.
“If it was a burrito that made somebody sick from a specific burrito restaurant, then we would need to evaluate the people who got sick from that restaurant—whether or not symptoms were similar,” explains Newland. “And, if they were similar, even if there isn't a positive test we can generally correlate it to the specific restaurant or the specific outbreak.”
Newland suggests saving the food if possible, but admits that is not always an option as many types of food poisoning don't manifest right away. Some cases can appear as much as 72 hours later.

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