According to the Center for Disease Control, “each year roughly 1 in 6 Americans (or 48 million people) get sick, 128,000 are hospitalized, and 3,000 die of foodborne diseases. Estimating illnesses, hospitalizations, and deaths for various types of diseases is a common and important public health practice”.
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All too often we take for granted that the food we buy in grocery stores, eat at restaurants, or what is provided to our children at school is safe. However, sometimes safety standards are not adhered to and one or many people can become sick.
Foodborne illness is an enormous problem in the United States, despite the collective obsession with anti-bacterial soaps, our robust food product and distribution networks, and our well-funded medical infrastructure.
Foodborne illness and infections occur when viruses, bacteria, fungi, or other pathogens harm the body after being ingested in food. The consequences can range from mild discomfort to death. Statistics from the CDC show that approximately 5,000 people die in this country and more than 320,000 get hospitalized.
Outbreaks of Salmonella due to contaminated chicken or bags of spinach in the past few years have affected hundreds of thousands of people. An E-coli bacterium in meat products and hamburgers also sicken and kill thousands every year.
The most common forms of foodborne illnesses include:
- Hepatitis A
- Listeria monocytogenes
Symptoms depend on the kind of illness or poisoning and can include:
- Abdomen pain
- High fever
In some cases, the symptoms occur within minutes or seconds after eating the food. In other cases, it can be hours or even days before symptoms appear.
If you are experiencing symptoms that seem to be related to the food you ate, see your family doctor right away, particularly if your symptoms are acute, unusual, and are impacting your respiratory system. Early detection can be crucial in terms of treating illnesses against long-term dangers.
If you or a loved one has been injured as a result of food contamination or a foodborne infection, you may need legal help.
Contact the San Bernardino personal injury law offices of Welebir Tierney & Weck to discuss your legal rights and options.