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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 attorneysMany food products are recalled in the U.S. each year because of the risk of food poisoning related to the products. Unfortunately, the recalls often do not occur until after at least several people become sick from eating the food. For instance, Wawona Packing Company recalled packages of peaches in August because of suspected salmonella contamination after 68 confirmed cases and 14 hospitalizations. The peaches are sold in Aldi stores in nine states, including Illinois. Despite efforts to warn the public, some people become sick from eating a contaminated product even after a recall. To protect yourself, you need to know where to find information on food recalls and what to do if you have a recalled product.

How Do I Learn About Food Recalls?

Food recall orders often originate from the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), which are the government organizations that investigate outbreaks of foodborne illness. Sometimes, the producer will issue a voluntary recall of the product after it learns of possible contamination. National and local media will often report prominent food recalls, and the FDA and CDC can also communicate directly with the public through social media. If you want to be proactive in learning about food recalls, you can sign up for food safety alerts from the FDA and CDC or check their websites, where they post details about recent recalls.

What Should I Do If I Have a Recalled Product?

The recall notice will give instructions on how to identify a recalled product and possible health risks related to the product. If you find a recalled food product at your home, you should:

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Illinois Salad Producer Has Third Food Poisoning Incident in Last Three YearsThe number of people who have been affected by the cyclospora salad outbreak has increased since we last reported it in June. As of July 24, 641 people in 11 states are confirmed to have contracted cyclospora, as well as more than 100 other people in Canada. Illinois has been the state with the most people infected, with 241 reported cases. Dozens of people have been hospitalized but no one has died. The cyclospora outbreak was linked to garden salads produced by Fresh Express in its Streamwood, Illinois, facility. Fresh Express has recalled the packaged salads, which were sold under various names at Jewel-Osco, ALDI, Walmart, Giant Eagle, Hy-Vee, and ShopRite. The fact that this is the third food poisoning outbreak in three years connected to Fresh Express and its Streamwood facility gives an additional reason for concern.

2018 Cyclospora Outbreak

From May to July in 2018, 511 people from 15 states, including Illinois, contracted cyclospora after eating salads sold at McDonald’s restaurants in the Midwest. Fresh Express was the supplier for McDonald’s salads at the time, and the U.S. Food and Drug Administration reported that a package of romaine lettuce and carrots from the Streamwood facility had tested positive for cyclospora. McDonald’s stopped selling salads that it purchased from Fresh Express and switched to a different supplier.

2019 E. Coli Outbreak

In November 2019, 10 people from five states, including one from Illinois, contracted a strain of E. coli that the FDA believed originated from Fresh Express Sunflower Crisp chopped salad kits. The strain of E. coli was different from the strain in a concurrent incident involving contaminated romaine lettuce grown in California. The FDA was unable to determine which ingredient in the salad kit was contaminated and announced that the outbreak was over on Jan. 15.

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Developing Reactive Arthritis After Food PoisoningA case of food poisoning can affect your health long past your initial symptoms. One such lingering malady is reactive arthritis, a form of joint pain that can occur after your body has recovered from a bacterial infection. Reactive arthritis is uncommon – not everyone who contracts the same strain of bacterial infection will develop it – but can be very painful and last for several months, if not longer. If you can trace your reactive arthritis back to your food poisoning case, you may be able to file a lawsuit to receive compensation for your illness.

How Do People Get Reactive Arthritis?

Reactive arthritis is a form of rheumatoid arthritis that gets its name from researchers believing that it is an autoimmune disorder that reacts to a bacterial infection. For some people, their immune system continues to respond to the initial bacterial infection, causing inflammation in their joints. Reactive arthritis can occur after contracting a food-borne illness or a sexually transmitted infection. Food poisoning cases associated with reactive arthritis include:

Studies show that reactive arthritis most commonly occurs in people age 20 to 40 and that some people are genetically more prone to developing the condition.

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