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chicago food poisoning lawyerWhile people may be careful to avoid eating foods that could potentially be harmful, there are a variety of situations where food poisoning may occur. Because foodborne illnesses can cause a great deal of pain and discomfort and have long-lasting effects, those who have contracted these illnesses will want to understand who was responsible, and they may be able to pursue financial compensation for their injuries and damages. Our firm works to keep people informed about issues related to food poisoning, and we regularly answer questions about these matters, including:

How Common Is Food Poisoning?

According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), around one out of every six people in the United States contract foodborne illnesses every year. Out of the people who are affected, around 128,000 become severely ill and require hospitalization, and around 3,000 illnesses are fatal.

How Can Food Poisoning Be Prevented?

When preparing and storing food, there are multiple steps that can be taken to ensure that people do not consume dangerous germs. People should always wash their hands before preparing food, and cross-contamination can be prevented by cleaning utensils and food preparation surfaces and storing foods in a way that prevents germs from spreading. Food should always be cooked to the proper temperature, and perishable foods should be refrigerated or frozen.

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Uncooked Shrimp Can Contain Harmful Bacteria

UPDATE: While the outbreak discussed below involved a brand of shrimp that was contaminated with Vibrio parahaemolyticus bacteria, there are multiple other types of foodborne illnesses that may be spread through raw or pre-cooked shrimp. These include Vibrio vulnificus, Vibrio alginolyticus, and Vibrio cholerae. Shrimp have also been found to contain bacillus bacteria, as well as salmonella and E. coli.

Consumption of food contaminated with Vibrio bacteria can lead to vibriosis. While this form of food poisoning is often mild, it can result in serious illness in some cases. Symptoms of vbriosis include abdominal cramps, nausea, fever, and chills. Vibriosis due to Vibrio vulnificus infections can be especially serious, and victims may require hospitalization and intensive care, as well as amputation of a limb. These infections result in death in around 20% of cases.

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illinois listeria injury attorneyThere are multiple ways that people in the United States may be affected by foodborne illnesses, including food products that have been contaminated with viruses, bacteria, or other toxins. In some cases, foods can become contaminated during the production process, and this may lead to large amounts of products being sold that may put people at risk of food poisoning. Recently, two separate outbreaks of food poisoning occurred due to packaged salads that were contaminated with listeria

Dole and Fresh Market Salads Recalled Due to Listeria Contamination

In December of 2021, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) became aware of a number of cases of food poisoning in which people reported infections by listeria monocytogenes bacteria. While the people in these cases reported eating packaged salads that had been purchased from grocery stores, the CDC determined that there were two separate outbreaks related to products produced by different companies.

The first outbreak involved salads produced by Fresh Express that were distributed throughout the Northeast and Midwest regions of the United States, as well as in Canada. States where these products were sold to consumers include Illinois, Indiana, Iowa, Wisconsin, Michigan, Missouri, and Minnesota. Fresh Express has recalled multiple types of salad mix and coleslaw products that were produced at the company’s facility in Streamwood, Illinois. These products were sold under the following brand names:

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libertyville-food-poisoning-listeria-lawyer.jpgWhile the food products that are made available to consumers in the United States are expected to be safe for consumption, there are many cases where products may become contaminated with bacteria, viruses, or other toxins. When contaminations are discovered, recalls may be performed to remove products from stores and prevent food poisoning. However, consumers may still be exposed to foodborne illnesses, especially if they purchased products before they were recalled. Recently, a large number of pork products were recalled because they may have been contaminated with listeria

Recall of Fully Cooked Ham and Pepperoni Products

On December 5, 2021, Alexander & Hornung, a food product manufacturer in Michigan that is owned by Perdue Premium Meat Company, Inc., issued a recall of more than 230,000 pounds of meat products because they may have been contaminated with listeria monocytogenes bacteria. The recall included multiple types of cooked ham and pepperoni stick products with sell-by dates ranging from 12/10/21 to 5/24/22. These products were sold under multiple brand names, including:

Illinois Salmonella Illness Injury LawyerOf the different types of toxic substances that can lead to food poisoning, salmonella is one of the most common. This bacteria is often spread through raw poultry, and unfortunately, agricultural practices in the United States can significantly increase the risks of chicken being contaminated. Government agencies often lack the power and resources to enforce regulations and ensure that food product manufacturers are following the correct safety procedures, and this has caused thousands of people to contract dangerous infections and suffer serious injuries.

Industry Practices Lead to the Spread of Salmonella

In 2018, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) investigated an outbreak of salmonella food poisoning that affected more than 100 people in 32 different states. This particular strain of salmonella was known as multidrug-resistant infantis. It caused people to suffer serious illnesses, and it was not affected by the antibiotics usually used to treat these types of infections. The CDC closed the investigation in 2019, but people continued to be infected, and this strain of salmonella is still present in the food supply in the United States. In fact, the CDC has noted that it is responsible for between 11,000 and 17,000 illnesses every year.

While poultry products in the U.S. are often contaminated by salmonella, government officials have little power to address this issue. Food manufacturers have argued that salmonella occurs naturally in raw meat, and courts have ruled that Congress does not have the authority to enforce regulations against salmonella infections that occur before meat enters a processing facility. While the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) oversees farms and food processing plants, it does not have the power to enforce standards for the levels of salmonella present in poultry, and it rarely takes action to shut down plants with unsanitary conditions.

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