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Recent Blog Posts

Back to School Food Safety: Your Kids Can Help Keep Themselves Safe

 Posted on September 09, 2022 in Uncategorized

illinois food poisioning lawyerIn our last post, we talked about a variety of things that you, as a parent, can do when prepping your children’s lunches to maximize food safety. We mentioned that preventing foodborne illnesses begins during back-to-school shopping, where it is easy to pick up insulated lunch bags, ice packs, and other items that can help keep lunch food at safe temperatures. Keeping a clean workspace and packing the night before can also help prevent dangerous bacteria from growing to unsafe levels before lunchtime at school.

Today, let’s take a look at some of the things your kids can do to help keep themselves safe. Food safety starts with you, but once your children leave for school, the responsibility shifts to them.

Avoid Moving Things Around

Children are curious creatures, and your kids will probably be dying to know what they are getting for lunch. While it is fine for them to look in their lunchbox or bag, they should be aware of how you packed it. If you strategically place an ice pack or a frozen juice box next to something that needs to stay cold, be sure that your children know not to move things around too much.

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Back to School Food Safety: Safe Food Prep

 Posted on August 12, 2022 in Foodborne illness

 rolling meadows food poisioning lawyerA quick look around any discount store or department store will prove it: “back-to-school” season is officially here. Weatherwise, we are at the height of summer, but in a few short weeks, children throughout Illinois and across the country will soon return to the classroom. If you are the parent of school-aged children, your to-do list is probably starting to grow, but keeping your children safe is always a top priority. With this in mind, we will spend the next few posts talking about the importance of food safety as it pertains to your child’s lunch box. Today, we are focusing on safe food prep practices that reduce the chances of your child developing a foodborne illness.

Cold Packs and Insulation

Your child’s school lunch safety starts long before the lunch bell rings. In fact, as you are doing your back-to-school shopping, there are a few things that should be on your list that can help prevent food poisoning. Specifically, you should consider getting insulated lunch bags or boxes and cold packs to go in them.

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Food Recalls and Staying Safe from Foodborne Illness

 Posted on August 04, 2022 in Foodborne illness

shutterstock_1202645242.jpgEach year, dozens of food products in the United States are recalled due to the food poisoning risk they present. Sadly, many recalls do not happen until a few people—or more—have already gotten sick after consuming the food product. Thankfully, many others are initiated before reports of foodborne illness start rolling in.

Despite these efforts to keep the public safe, it is not uncommon for people to continue getting sick even after a recall has been issued. To prevent this and to keep yourself protected, it is important to know where you get food recall information and what you should do if you find a recalled product in your refrigerator or pantry.

Keeping Abreast of Food Recalls

Orders for food recalls generally come from the United States Food and Drug Administration (FDA), the United States Department of Agriculture (USDA), or the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). These government entities are responsible for food safety, as well as investigations into food poisoning outbreaks. It is also possible for a food producer to issue a preemptive and voluntary recall upon learning about possible contamination.

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Food Poisoning and Reactive Arthritis

 Posted on July 26, 2022 in Foodborne illness

IL injury lawyerWhen an individual contracts a foodborne illness after eating contaminated food, he or she may suffer a wide variety of symptoms and health concerns. In addition to the direct effects of food poisoning, the person in question might also experience other issues that could negatively affect his or her overall well-being. One of these secondary issues or complications is called reactive arthritis. Reactive arthritis can cause severe pain that affects the individual’s ability to work and perform their daily tasks.

A Look at Reactive Arthritis

Reactive arthritis is not fully understood by the medical community, and it is a relatively uncommon condition. It is thought to be an autoimmune disorder, as it seems to be a condition in which the body’s immune system goes after healthy tissue. In some cases, reactive arthritis occurs as part of the physiological response to a gastrointestinal infection, including an infection caused by food poisoning.

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What You Need to Know About Liability for Summer Cookout Food Poisoning

 Posted on July 07, 2022 in Food Poisoning

IL injury lawyerThis week, families around Northern Illinois and across the country gathered to celebrate Independence Day. For many people, such celebrations include backyard cookouts with massive spreads of delicious food of all types.

Unfortunately, it is not uncommon to attend a Fourth of July cookout and then come home feeling a bit unwell. Before long, you might feel quite ill and have symptoms such as nausea, diarrhea, vomiting, and fever. You might even recognize the situation as attributable to something you ate, but the term “food poisoning” might feel like a stretch. However, the reality is that if something you ate made you sick and food allergies are not to blame, there is a good chance that you are, in fact, suffering from food poisoning.

Potential Liability for the Host

Over the last few weeks, posts on this blog have offered some summer cookout safety tips so that those who host backyard meals can help prevent their guests from getting sick. However, foodborne illnesses are still possible at summer cookouts. The first potential source of liability for summer cookout food poisoning is the person who hosts the get-together.

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Summer Cookout Safety Tips: Keeping Hot Foods Hot and Cold Foods Cold

 Posted on June 21, 2022 in Food Poisoning

IL injury lawyerOver the last couple of blog posts, we have talked about some of the ways to keep your guests from contracting foodborne illnesses during your summer cookouts. Previously, we have discussed maintaining a clean grill and proper handling procedures for meats, chicken, and seafood. While grilling is a big part of most summer cookouts, there is often a variety of other foods that help to complete a backyard meal. With several months of warm weather — and numerous opportunities for cookouts — still to go this year, it is time to talk about keeping the side dishes safe as well.

Maintaining Safe Temperatures

Most backyard barbecues are more or less buffet-style meals, especially those that involve larger numbers of guests. The most basic food safety rule for buffet-style meals is to keep foods hot if they are supposed to be hot and cold if they are supposed to be cold. Hot means above 140° F, and cold means below 40° F. The “danger zone” for food safety is between these temperatures, and food should not be left in the danger zone for longer than two hours. If the outdoor temperature is above 90° F, food should not be in the danger zone for longer than one hour. Dangerous bacteria can multiply very quickly in the danger zone.

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Is Food Poisoning Contagious?

 Posted on June 09, 2022 in Food Poisoning

IL injury lawyerIf you are the type of person who plays “fast and loose” with food safety—maybe, you are willing to eat those deviled eggs that have been sitting on the buffet table all day—there is a good chance you had to deal with food poisoning occasionally. And, you might not have even recognized your issues as food poisoning, as some cases can be much milder than others.

Most of us generally understand that improper food handling and storage temperatures can allow the pathogens that cause foodborne illness to contaminate our food. But what if someone else in your household ate contaminated food and you did not? Is it possible to contract a foodborne illness from another person? The answer, unfortunately, is yes.

How Food Poisoning Can Be Spread

There are two basic ways in which food poisoning spreads from person to person. The first is through direct exposure to the bodily fluids of an infected person. For example, if your spouse is suffering from a foodborne illness caused by norovirus, the virus is likely to be present in his or her vomit or diarrhea. This means you need to be extra careful as you help care for your spouse and to take all proper precautions to avoid exposure to the pathogen.

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Summer Cookout Safety Tips: Grilling Meat, Chicken, and Seafood

 Posted on May 17, 2022 in Food borne illness

IL injury lawyerA couple of weeks ago, we talked a little bit about how a clean grill is very important in preventing food poisoning at your summer cookouts. With Memorial Day fast approaching—the holiday that many observe as the semi-official start of summer—more and more people will be hosting barbecues and cooking out on the grill again. While a clean grill is a great start, there are other steps that you should be taking to ensure that your food is safe to eat.

Guidelines for Safe Grilling

Whether you are having dozens of people over for a party or simply preparing dinner for your family, it is critical to handle meat, chicken, and seafood properly, or you run the risk of making people very sick. With this in mind, let’s take a look at some tips from the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) for the safe handling of grilled proteins.

Separate raw proteins – Food safety begins at the grocery store. When you are shopping, be sure to grab meat or seafood last so that products can stay refrigerated longer. Then, separate them from the other items in your cart and bags. It is also a good idea to put raw meat or poultry in individual bags to prevent cross-contamination.

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Summer Cookout Safety Tips: Preventing Foodborne Illness by Cleaning Your Grill

 Posted on May 11, 2022 in Foodborne illness

IL injury lawyerThe calendar has flipped over to May, which means that outdoor grilling season is fast approaching for residents of Northern Illinois. Whether you consider yourself a beginner with a propane grill, a master of the charcoal grill, or a barbecue pit boss, there is nothing quite like meat—and veggies or other sides—that has been grilled to perfection. However, food cooked on the grill could be contaminated with dangerous bacteria if the grill is not maintained properly. Today, we will look at some simple steps you can take to ensure that your food is both delicious and safe for your family and guests to eat.

A Dirty Grill Can Harbor Illness-Causing Bacteria

Whether you use your grill just about every night or only on special occasions, it is critical to maintain and clean the grill grates on a regular basis. Whenever you cook on a grill, there are inevitably bits of food that remain stuck to the grill grates—even if you cannot see them. These food particles are likely to attract insects, birds, and other animals, which can introduce untold amounts of bacteria—and even waste—to the surface of the grill. Even without bugs or birds, the food itself can become contaminated with bacteria as the grill sits outside in the sun.

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Are My Hardboiled Easter Eggs Still Safe to Eat?

 Posted on April 26, 2022 in Food Poisoning

IL injury lawyerJust over a week ago, families throughout the country and around the world celebrated the Christian holiday of Easter. Of course, chocolate and candy are big parts of this celebration in many, if not most, households, and many still include hard-boiled eggs as part of their traditions as well. In fact, coloring Easter eggs is a highly anticipated family event in a large number of American homes. These dyed eggs often find their way into Easter baskets and onto the buffet table on Easter Sunday, but waiting too long to eat them can lead to spoiled eggs, bacterial contamination, and foodborne illness.

Refrigeration is Key

According to the United States Department of Agriculture (USDA), hard-boiled eggs should not be left at room temperature for more than two hours. Temperatures between 40 and 140°F are considered the “danger zone.” At these temps, dangerous bacteria can grow and reproduce very quickly.

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