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Avoid Food Poisoning Around the Campfire this Summer

The midst of summer is upon us and during this time of year, many Illinois residents and families choose to enjoy the long, hot days and nights outside, gathered around campfires and backyard fire pits. Often, these outdoor fires are used to cook hot dogs, shish kabobs, and other foods like marshmallows for s'mores. Sitting around the campfire eating a freshly charred dinner is a great way to make warm summer memories with family and friends.

It can also be a great way to contract dangerous bacteria if you are not careful. Processed meats like hot dogs and summer sausages can harbor Listeria among other types of dangerous bacteria. Chicken, which you might eat on a skewer with peppers and onions cooked over the fire, can harbor Salmonella, and the fresh side salad can also be home to bacteria that can cause you to suffer from food poisoning. With this information in mind, make smart choices about food safety this summer to reduce your chance of suffering from food poisoning.

Store all Foods Properly

Carbon Live Fire Mexican Grill Linked to E.Coli

After at least 25 individuals became ill with Shiga toxin-producing E.coli (STEC), the Chicago Department of Public Health (CDPH) linked the outbreak to Carbon Live Fire Mexican Grill. The restaurant is located on 26th street and serves a variety of Mexican fare including tacos, burritos, and margaritas. The restaurant complied with the CDPH's request to investigate the outbreak, which traced the STEC infections to its kitchen.

STEC is a treatable illness, but it can have serious complications, especially in individuals who do not receive adequate treatment in a timely manner. All individuals who ate at this Carbon Live Fire Mexican Grill location recently are urged to seek medical attention if they experience STEC symptoms. In rare occurrences, STEC can cause a victim to become severely dehydrated and ill, requiring hospitalization. Thus far, five victims of this outbreak have been hospitalized. If you become ill with STEC or any other type of food poisoning, seek medical attention as soon as possible. Then, consider filing a personal injury claim to seek compensation for your damages.

Symptoms of STEC

Myths About Food Poisoning

Meat is fully cooked and safe to eat when its juices run clear, right? Actually, this is a myth. Although the color of a cut of meat or its juices can indicate whether it has been cooked to a safe temperature, they alone can not be used to make this determination. The only way to know for sure whether your meat has reached a safe internal temperature, which means that the meat has reached the temperature at which any potentially harmful bacteria within it is dead, is to use a meat thermometer.

Other myths about safe food handling and storage procedures and the process of contracting food poisoning abound. These myths often cause individuals to make unsafe food handling choices and become ill. Familiarize yourself with some of the most common food poisoning myths and their corresponding facts to reduce your chance of suffering from food poisoning.

Myth: Spoiled or Unsafe Food is Obvious in Smell or Look

Seeking Compensation After Suffering from an Undeclared Allergen in Food

Harmful bacteria is not the only reason that victims become ill after eating certain foods. Sometimes, individuals suffer from allergic reactions from eating specific foods. These reactions can range from fairly benign, like itchy red eyes and a runny nose to anaphylaxis, the intense swelling of the throat, tongue, or other area of the body often accompanied by fever, vomiting, and low blood pressure.

Recently, a Massachusetts family made headlines when they filed a claim against Panera Bread after their allergic daughter was served a grilled cheese sandwich that contained peanut butter. The family allegedly told the cashier at the Panera franchise that their daughter was highly allergic to nuts and that no nut products were to come into contact with her sandwich. The cafe chain stated that the mistake was likely made by an employee with limited English skills who misunderstood the request. Now, the family is seeking compensation, alleging that Panera was negligent by allowing this employee to make the sandwich. Although allergic reactions are not the same as becoming ill with food poisoning, individuals who suffer from reactions because of undeclared allergens in their food, whether the allergen was meant to be there but the food was not labeled correctly or if the allergen somehow contaminated the food, have the right to seek compensation for their damages through food poisoning claims.

What are Allergies?

FDA Announces its Fifth Annual Reportable Food Registry

Every year, the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) releases its Reportable Food Registry. This is an electronic registry that lists all reportable foods that were submitted to the FDA during the five-year reporting period. The fifth edition, chronicling all instances of reportable food made between September 2009 and September 2014, came out in May 2016.

A reportable food is a food or food product intended for human or animal consumption that, due to recorded instances of illness, has a reasonable probability of causing those who consume it to suffer from food poisoning. When a food item is determined to be reportable, it must be reported to the FDA within 24 hours. This helps the FDA track potential food poisoning outbreaks and work with the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention to slow and contain them. If you find yourself suffering from food poisoning symptoms, seek medical attention to confirm whether your symptoms are due to harmful bacteria and if so, which kind. Then, consider working with a food poisoning attorney to seek compensation for your damages.

Details of the Fifth Annual Reportable Food Registry

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