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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 foodborne illness lawyersIn the past week, a common ingredient used in Chinese restaurants across America has been recalled after salmonella was detected in samples of the product. On September 23, the brand Shirakiku was recalled by manufacturer Wismettac Asian Food Inc. The product is imported dried fungus, also known as tree ear fungus, black fungus, or cloud-ear fungus due to its appearance. This fungus is an edible mushroom that is commonly used in Chinese cooking in the U.S. Black fungus originated in China, but can also be found in tropical regions such as Hawaii, Nigeria, the Pacific Islands, and more. The reason these mushrooms are so dangerous? Their tendency to absorb contaminants from their environment.

Based in Santa Fe Springs, CA, Wismettac Asian Food Inc. has been asked to recall their product Shirakiku by the California Department of Public Health. The department detected traces of salmonella, the leading cause of food poisoning, in product samples. Though the company is based in California, this product is distributed throughout the U.S., Illinois included. As of September 24, over 40 people had been infected from a spread of ten states. In other words, if you have recently eaten at a Chinese restaurant and gotten sick afterwards, this fungal product may be to blame.

Signs of Salmonella

Depending on their severity, you may not have thought twice about your symptoms. Or in the current health climate, you may have been comparing your symptoms to those of COVID-19. Below are a list of CDC-recognized salmonella symptoms:

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Chicago food poisoning attorneysYour child’s health is of great importance to you as a parent, and you do not want to think that the food you have given them may have made them sick. Unfortunately, children can be victims of food poisoning and, depending on the type of food poisoning, they could be even more vulnerable to the symptoms than adults. Assuming that you have taken precautions about food safety, it is possible that the food producer or restaurant may be responsible for your child’s food poisoning, which may mean that you can receive compensation for their pain and suffering by filing a lawsuit.

How to Identify Food Poisoning in Children

There are several common symptoms that may appear in people who are suffering from foodborne illnesses, including:

  • Nausea or vomiting
  • Diarrhea
  • Fever
  • Headaches

Because there are multiple illnesses that could cause these same symptoms, you may not know for certain whether your child’s illness is food poisoning without a diagnosis from their pediatrician. The pediatrician will likely want to know a history of the meals that your child has recently eaten. Even if you did not get food poisoning from eating the same meal as your child, your child may have been more vulnerable to the harmful bacteria in the food if they have a weaker immune system.

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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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