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food poisoning lawyerWhen we stop for a quick bite to eat at a fast-food restaurant, we generally temper our expectations about the overall quality of the food. While it can certainly be frustrating, we are more or less willing to accept slightly cold fries in exchange for the convenience of a meal on the go. However, our expectations for food safety do not change, and we never expect to suffer from food poisoning when we choose fast food.

Unfortunately, this is exactly what reportedly happened to at least 97 people in six states after eating sandwiches from Wendy’s restaurants. According to the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), those who experienced foodborne illness as part of this outbreak were infected with a specific strain of E. coli.

Details of the Outbreak

The first reports of illness associated with what would become a multi-state E. coli outbreak started in late July and continued through the second week of August. Cases of E. coli infections were reported in Michigan, Indiana, Kentucky, Ohio, Pennsylvania, and New York, with more than half of all of the reported cases being from Michigan.

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illinois food poisioning lawyerIn our last post, we talked about a variety of things that you, as a parent, can do when prepping your children’s lunches to maximize food safety. We mentioned that preventing foodborne illnesses begins during back-to-school shopping, where it is easy to pick up insulated lunch bags, ice packs, and other items that can help keep lunch food at safe temperatures. Keeping a clean workspace and packing the night before can also help prevent dangerous bacteria from growing to unsafe levels before lunchtime at school.

Today, let’s take a look at some of the things your kids can do to help keep themselves safe. Food safety starts with you, but once your children leave for school, the responsibility shifts to them.

Avoid Moving Things Around

Children are curious creatures, and your kids will probably be dying to know what they are getting for lunch. While it is fine for them to look in their lunchbox or bag, they should be aware of how you packed it. If you strategically place an ice pack or a frozen juice box next to something that needs to stay cold, be sure that your children know not to move things around too much.

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 rolling meadows food poisioning lawyerA quick look around any discount store or department store will prove it: “back-to-school” season is officially here. Weatherwise, we are at the height of summer, but in a few short weeks, children throughout Illinois and across the country will soon return to the classroom. If you are the parent of school-aged children, your to-do list is probably starting to grow, but keeping your children safe is always a top priority. With this in mind, we will spend the next few posts talking about the importance of food safety as it pertains to your child’s lunch box. Today, we are focusing on safe food prep practices that reduce the chances of your child developing a foodborne illness.

Cold Packs and Insulation

Your child’s school lunch safety starts long before the lunch bell rings. In fact, as you are doing your back-to-school shopping, there are a few things that should be on your list that can help prevent food poisoning. Specifically, you should consider getting insulated lunch bags or boxes and cold packs to go in them.

Novelty lunch boxes have long been a part of school lunches, but as nostalgic as we might be for the Transformers, My Little Pony, or Star Wars boxes of our youth, older designs contributed virtually nothing to food safety. Instead, look for boxes or bags that feature a layer of insulation to keep contents cold. In addition, be sure to pick up a few cold packs or ice packs. Keep enough on hand that your child’s lunch will stay cold even if they forgot to put yesterday’s ice packs back in the freezer.

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shutterstock_1202645242.jpgEach year, dozens of food products in the United States are recalled due to the food poisoning risk they present. Sadly, many recalls do not happen until a few people—or more—have already gotten sick after consuming the food product. Thankfully, many others are initiated before reports of foodborne illness start rolling in.

Despite these efforts to keep the public safe, it is not uncommon for people to continue getting sick even after a recall has been issued. To prevent this and to keep yourself protected, it is important to know where you get food recall information and what you should do if you find a recalled product in your refrigerator or pantry.

Keeping Abreast of Food Recalls

Orders for food recalls generally come from the United States Food and Drug Administration (FDA), the United States Department of Agriculture (USDA), or the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). These government entities are responsible for food safety, as well as investigations into food poisoning outbreaks. It is also possible for a food producer to issue a preemptive and voluntary recall upon learning about possible contamination.

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IL injury lawyerWhen an individual contracts a foodborne illness after eating contaminated food, he or she may suffer a wide variety of symptoms and health concerns. In addition to the direct effects of food poisoning, the person in question might also experience other issues that could negatively affect his or her overall well-being. One of these secondary issues or complications is called reactive arthritis. Reactive arthritis can cause severe pain that affects the individual’s ability to work and perform their daily tasks.

A Look at Reactive Arthritis

Reactive arthritis is not fully understood by the medical community, and it is a relatively uncommon condition. It is thought to be an autoimmune disorder, as it seems to be a condition in which the body’s immune system goes after healthy tissue. In some cases, reactive arthritis occurs as part of the physiological response to a gastrointestinal infection, including an infection caused by food poisoning.

It is difficult to describe an “average” case of reactive arthritis, but symptoms generally start to appear between one and six weeks after the original infection. Depending on the person, symptoms can last from a couple of weeks to several months, and in some cases, symptoms can become chronic and life-altering.

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