Every year, thousands of people in the United States contract food poisoning. Most people recover relatively quickly and easily, but in some cases, serious long term medical problems, significant lost time from work, and even fatalities occur.
Food poisoning, also called foodborne illness, is caused by eating or drinking contaminated food or drink. A variety of pathogens or germs can contaminate beverages or meals. These pathogens range from bacteria, viruses, and parasites to even chemicals or other harmful toxins. Norovirus and Salmonella are among the most common pathogens.
The leading causes of food poisoning are from eating improperly cooked or handled food. In fact, food poisoning is usually preventable and simple. The World Health Organization reports that simple hand washing can reduce foodborne illnesses by 35% . Also, properly separating raw meets from cooked ones prevents cross-contamination of pathogens.
After Food Poisoning Steps
- Chest or severe abdominal pain
- Rapid heart rate
- Joint pain
- Prolonged diarrhea
Make sure medical professionals take tests to identify the pathogen. Also, keep and preserved all packaging materials and all parts of unconsumed food for tests if necessary.
Keep all purchase orders, receipts including those made with debit or credit card that shows buying the contaminated item. Then, immediately report the food posioning to the county or local health department.
Make sure to seek the opinion of a knowledgeable attorney before calling to register a complaint with the restaurant or grocery store.
In the meantime, take detailed photographs of any under cooked or adulterated food believed to be the source of the food poisoning. If other people in the home ate the same food, inquire if they are ill. If so, take their information for the attorney.