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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 food poisoning attorneysFood poisoning is a common sickness that some people will unavoidably suffer from. Even with all of the regulations on the food industry in the United States, the U.S. Food and Drug Administration reports that one in six people contract food poisoning each year. You may think you know how to prevent food poisoning and what to do if you get it. However, there are common misconceptions about food poisoning that can lead to mistakes in identifying the source of the poisoning and treating it. 

Avoiding these misconceptions if you plan to file a food poisoning lawsuit:

  1. I Cannot Get Food Poisoning If I Wash and Fully Cook My Food: Proper food preparation is one of the most important ways that you can reduce the risk of food poisoning but is not guaranteed to prevent it. Some strains of bacteria are resistant to hot and cold temperatures. Washing and scrubbing the food may not be enough if the bacteria has spread inside of the skin or surface.
  2. What I Most Recently Ate Must Have Caused My Sickness: Some bacteria cause food poisoning symptoms within hours of ingestion, but there are others that take days or more than a week before you notice the symptoms. With this in mind, you need to recount what you have eaten for several days before you started feeling sick.
  3. That Meal Could Not Have Made Me Sick Because Other People Were Fine: Multiple people becoming sick after eating the same meal is a likely sign of food poisoning. However, you cannot discount a meal as the source of your food poisoning just because no one else reported being sick. People respond differently to the same bacteria based on factors such as how strong their immune system is.
  4. Stomach Problems Are the Only Symptoms of Food Poisoning: Most food poisoning cases have similar symptoms related to your digestive system, such as stomach pain, vomiting, and diarrhea. However, food poisoning can cause other chronic ailments. Food poisoning cases have been connected to joint pain, nerve damage, and kidney failure.
  5. I Do Not Need to See a Doctor: Many people recover from food poisoning on their own after a few days of rest. They may see a doctor only if their symptoms become bad enough that it is a medical emergency. You should not wait until you are hospitalized before getting treated for your food poisoning. A doctor can identify what type of food poisoning you have and how it should be treated.

Contact a Chicago Foodborne Illness Attorney

One more misconception about food poisoning is that you do not need to file a lawsuit against the liable party. Food poisoning can result in expensive medical bills, lost time at work, and long-term symptoms. An Illinois food poisoning lawyer at Newland & Newland, LLP, will make sure you receive the compensation you deserve for your illness. To schedule a consultation, call 312-981-0409.

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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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What Are the Different Types of Botulism?Botulism is a rare but dangerous bacterial infection that is often caused by food poisoning. Symptoms from botulism start with weakness in the face, which can cause blurred vision, slurred speech, and difficulty breathing and swallowing. Symptoms continue down the body, often causing abdominal pain and vomiting. A mild case of botulism can take weeks to months to recover from, while a severe case could take years. If left untreated, botulism is potentially fatal. One of the tricky aspects of tracking the origin of a botulism case is that there are multiple ways that a person can contract the botulinum toxin. Knowing which type of botulism you have can determine whether you will be successful in filing a food poisoning lawsuit:

  1. Foodborne Botulism: The most common form of botulism is the type that you get from eating contaminated food. When processed foods are not properly sealed, the botulinum toxin is able to grow to the point that it becomes dangerous for consumption. Botulism is commonly associated with canning fruits and vegetables at home, when people may not tightly seal their preserved foods. However, it is also possible to contract botulism from commercially processed foods.
  2. Infant Botulism: Infants can develop botulism when spores in their intestines grow and become toxic. An infant’s digestive system is not able to fully break down spores that naturally appear in foods such as honey. As a result, the spores may linger in their intestines and grow.
  3. Adult Intestinal Toxemia: Similar to infant botulism, some adults have difficulty digesting spores, allowing them to become toxic bacteria inside the digestive tract. This is a rare condition that is most likely to occur in someone who has pre-existing gastrointestinal problems.
  4. Wound Botulism: People can develop botulism if bacteria infect an opening on the body and become toxic. Wound botulism most commonly occurs with people who suffer a severe injury or use drugs that they inject into their bodies.
  5. Iatrogenic Botulism: You may have heard of botulinum toxin used by another name: Botox. Cosmetic surgeons inject small amounts of the botulinum toxin into patients’ faces in order to remove wrinkles. An overdose of the botulinum toxin can cause botulism.

Contact an Illinois Food Poisoning Attorney

People diagnosed with botulism may be able to quickly narrow down the likely source of their infection if they have never had cosmetic injections, are drug-free, or have not suffered serious wounds recently. An Illinois food poisoning lawyer at Newland & Newland, LLP, will help you track down the source of your foodborne illness. Schedule a consultation by calling 312-981-0409.

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Airline Meals Are Frequent Source of Food PoisoningAirline food is often the source of jokes because of its reputation for poor quality. Many will remember the classic comedic film “Airplane!,” in which a majority of the passengers of a flight become ill after being served fish for dinner. Food poisoning from airline food is very real and not a laughing matter. It is difficult to track how many people contract food poisoning from food served on airplanes because passengers can disperse across the country or around the world. However, we do know from individual complaints and government inspections that there are numerous cases of food poisoning that originate from airline food.

Startling Findings

Third-party food catering services provide most of the meals that people eat on airplanes. The federal Food and Drug Administration is responsible for inspecting the caterers for health code violations. A recent investigation by NBC News reported that the FDA has documented several violations in the past four years, such as:

  • Listeria contaminations in facilities
  • Expired food being used
  • Food that was not stored at a safe temperature
  • Cross-contamination between raw and cooked meats
  • Fans blowing dust on food
  • Condensation dripping water on food
  • Bird and rodent feces in facilities

The investigation also claims that the FDA inspects airline catering facilities once every three-to-five years, as opposed to local health inspectors visiting most restaurants at least once a year.

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