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illinois food poisioning lawyerThere are multiple types of food products that may become contaminated with harmful bacteria, viruses, or other toxins. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) monitors outbreaks of food poisoning. It regularly issues warnings to consumers when contaminated foods cause illnesses and injuries for large numbers of people. Recently, the CDC announced that there has been an outbreak of salmonella infections that may be linked to raw frozen chicken products that were breaded and stuffed.

Details of the Salmonella Outbreak

The CDC reports that as of June 2, 2021, people in six states reported salmonella infections, with the majority of the cases occurring in Illinois. These illnesses were reported between February and May of 2021, but in addition to the reported cases, it is likely that many more infections went unreported. Since it can take two to four weeks to determine whether an illness is related to a food poisoning outbreak, there may be additional infections that have occurred recently.

While the CDC has not yet confirmed a specific source of this outbreak, the majority of the people affected reported that they had prepared and eaten frozen breaded stuffed chicken products. Upon testing, the salmonella strain involved in the outbreak was found in Kirkwood brand chicken cordon bleu products that are sold at Aldi grocery stores. Currently, no recall has been issued for these products.

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Chicago Hepatitis A foodborne illness attorneyThere are many different types of viruses, bacteria, or toxic chemicals that can lead to food poisoning outbreaks. Hepatitis A is one of the less common foodborne illnesses, but it still affects tens of thousands of people each year in the United States. This disease can be very dangerous, and those who have been affected will want to consult with an attorney to determine their options for recovering financial compensation from the person or establishment that was responsible.

What Makes Hepatitis A Different From Other Foodborne Illnesses?

Most foodborne illnesses affect the gastrointestinal system, and people will often begin experiencing symptoms within a few hours after eating contaminated foods. However, Hepatitis A attacks the liver, and symptoms will take longer to appear. Usually, a person will begin experiencing symptoms between 15 and 50 days after the contamination occurred. This can sometimes make it difficult to identify the source of the contamination.

Symptoms of Hepatitis A include abdominal pain, nausea, vomiting, and fatigue, which may be similar to the symptoms of other types of foodborne illnesses. However, victims may also experience jaundice in which they have a yellow tint to their skin and eyes, dark-colored urine, and pale-colored stools. This indicates that a person’s liver has been affected. Severe infections can cause serious damage to the liver, which could be fatal.

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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 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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Illinois personal injury attorney food poisoning

Laws and regulations in the United States exist to ensure that the food people eat is safe. Unfortunately, businesses such as restaurants, grocery stores, or food product manufacturers do not always follow these regulations, and this can result in serious cases of food poisoning. Recently, approximately 40 people claimed to have food poisoning after eating at an Arby's restaurant in Springfield, Illinois. Starting on February 15, 2021, the Sangamon County health department began receiving reports that people who had eaten at the restaurant had become ill. Over the following days, 40 cases were reported, causing the restaurant to shut down. After a deep cleaning, the Arby’s has reopened. An investigation is being performed, but the source of the foodborne illness has not yet been identified.

Potential Causes of Food Poisoning at Restaurants

Workers at restaurants should be trained on the proper methods of handling and preparing food to prevent dishes from being contaminated by viruses, bacteria, or toxins. If employees do not receive the proper training or do not follow the correct procedures, customers may contract food poisoning due to contaminated food. Some ways that foodborne illnesses can be spread by restaurant workers include:

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