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Illinois Botulism Food Poisoning Lawyers

Chicago botulism attorney

Personal Injury Attorneys for Chicago Foodborne Illness Victims 

Botulism is a rare but severe sickness which affects the body's nervous system and results in breathing difficulties, paralysis, and even death. There are around 150 to 200 confirmed cases each year in the United States, including through instances of food poisoning. While anyone can contract botulism, in some years, upward of 90 percent of infections have occurred in infants. If left untreated, the mortality rate for botulism can be as high as 50 percent.

If you or a loved one have suffered botulism sickness due to contaminated food, Newland & Newland, LLP can pursue the compensation you and your family deserve for expensive medical bills, lost wages at work, and pain and suffering.

Previous settlements and judgments include $53,000 paid by a local restaurant to a client who was hospitalized for multiple days but who suffered no long-term damage.

Botulism Causes

Botulism spores do not always make people sick, even when eaten. To create the toxin that is extremely dangerous for humans, botulism bacteria must grow in certain conditions, including low oxygen, acid, sugar, and salt, with a certain temperature and amount of water.

In around 30 percent of all cases, the most common source of foodborne botulism is home-canned, preserved, and fermented foods, which often provide the conditions necessary for spore growth. While this is more likely to happen with home-canned foods, store-bought cans can also be contaminated. With any canned food, check for:

  • Cracks, leaks, bulges, swelling, or any other sign of damage;
  • Spurting of liquid or foam when you open the can; and
  • Discoloration, mold, or bad odor within the contents.

If you prepare canned food at home, follow the USDA Complete Guide to Home Canning, which details safety tips in working with low-acid foods.

Botulism outbreaks in recent years have also included honey, spicy peppers, garlic-infused oils, and foil-wrapped baked potatoes.

Botulism Symptoms

The effects of foodborne botulism typically begin within 12 to 36 hours of initial consumption, but this can vary depending on the amount ingested. Symptoms of botulism include:

  • Dry mouth and difficulty swallowing or breathing;
  • Blurred or double vision;
  • Droopy eyelids;
  • Stomach pain, nausea, and vomiting;
  • Facial weakness; and
  • Muscle paralysis.

Because of the potential for death, botulism contraction is considered a medical emergency. If you experience any combination of these symptoms, see a doctor immediately. Quick treatment increases the likelihood of survival.

To achieve a botulism diagnosis, your physician may require a brain scan, spinal fluid examination, and nerve and muscle tests. Botulism treatment involves the use of an antitoxin, which stops further spread. Those with breathing problems sometimes temporarily need a ventilator. Depending on the severity, hospitalization may last anywhere from a few days to multiple months.

Contact an Illinois Botulism Poisoning Lawyer

Botulism sickness can spawn from anything from a can of vegetables to potato salad at a community picnic. Regardless of how you were poisoned, you should not shoulder the financial cost of your recovery. Let Newland & Newland, LLP fight for the compensation you deserve. For a free phone consultation with an adept Chicago food poisoning lawyer, contact us at 312-981-0409. We have five convenient Chicago area locations to serve you, including Arlington Heights, Libertyville, Chicago, and Itasca.

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