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Chicago E. coli injury attorneyUnfortunately, food poisoning is all too common in the United States. Foods can become contaminated by bacteria, viruses, or other toxins at different points in the supply chain, including when they are grown or produced, shipped, or served or sold to customers. E. coli is one of the most common pathogens that leads to food poisoning injuries, and it can have a significant impact on a person’s health. Those who have contracted E. coli will want to understand the potential sources of the infection and determine whether they can pursue compensation from the person or company that was responsible.

Sources of E. Coli Infections

Escherichia coli, which is commonly abbreviated as E. coli, is a bacteria that is found in the intestines of many humans and animals. E. coli infections can occur through:

  • Ground meat - When cows, pigs, or other animals are slaughtered, E. coli bacteria in their intestines may become mixed in with the meat. Packages of ground beef, pork, or other meats will often contain meat from multiple animals, making them more likely to be contaminated. Meat should be fully cooked to kill any bacteria that are present. Infections can occur if meat is undercooked or if bacteria from meat spreads to other food products during storage or preparation.

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Chicago food poisoning attorneysEven though consumers in the United States expect the food products they purchase to be safe, the systems that are meant to protect against the spread of dangerous pathogens sometimes fail. When food that is tainted by viruses, bacteria, or other toxic substances is made available for purchase, this can result in food poisoning, which can cause long-lasting injuries to those who are affected. Salmonella is one of the most common sources of foodborne illnesses, and a variety of food products have been found to be contaminated by this bacteria. In 2020, one of the largest salmonella outbreaks was caused by peaches sold at grocery stores in multiple different states.

Recall of Prima Wawona Peaches

A multi-state outbreak of Salmonella Enteritidis occurred between June and August of 2020. According to the CDC, 101 people in 17 states were infected, and while no deaths occurred, 28 people were hospitalized. These infections were traced to peaches packed and distributed by Prima Wawona and the Wawona Packing Company. This led the company to recall both bagged and loose peaches that had been distributed to grocery stores in multiple states. 

The recall included peaches sold nationwide at the following stores:

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Illinois foodborne illness lawyersIn the past week, a common ingredient used in Chinese restaurants across America has been recalled after salmonella was detected in samples of the product. On September 23, the brand Shirakiku was recalled by manufacturer Wismettac Asian Food Inc. The product is imported dried fungus, also known as tree ear fungus, black fungus, or cloud-ear fungus due to its appearance. This fungus is an edible mushroom that is commonly used in Chinese cooking in the U.S. Black fungus originated in China, but can also be found in tropical regions such as Hawaii, Nigeria, the Pacific Islands, and more. The reason these mushrooms are so dangerous? Their tendency to absorb contaminants from their environment.

Based in Santa Fe Springs, CA, Wismettac Asian Food Inc. has been asked to recall their product Shirakiku by the California Department of Public Health. The department detected traces of salmonella, the leading cause of food poisoning, in product samples. Though the company is based in California, this product is distributed throughout the U.S., Illinois included. As of September 24, over 40 people had been infected from a spread of ten states. In other words, if you have recently eaten at a Chinese restaurant and gotten sick afterwards, this fungal product may be to blame.

Signs of Salmonella

Depending on their severity, you may not have thought twice about your symptoms. Or in the current health climate, you may have been comparing your symptoms to those of COVID-19. Below are a list of CDC-recognized salmonella symptoms:

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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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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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