While almost everyone experiences some food poisoning, most don’t realize how serious these illnesses can be. Contaminated food can cause life-threatening — even fatal — sickness if consumed. Older adults, pregnant women, young children, and people with chronic diseases are especially at risk for life-threatening conditions should they contract some foodborne illness.
According to data from the Mayo Clinic, “Infectious organisms — including bacteria, viruses, and parasites — or their toxins are the most common causes of food poisoning.” Food can become contaminated during production, processing, or preparation. While most food poisoning cases are mild and resolve independently, this is not always true. Food poisoning can be so devastating for some people that a hospital trip is needed.
Common symptoms of food poisoning
The most common symptoms of foodborne illness are dehydration, nausea, vomiting, diarrhea, abdominal pain, and fever. Symptoms typically occur within hours of consuming contaminated food. More serious symptoms indicate the need to seek immediate medical attention. These include:
- Frequent vomiting
- Bloody diarrhea, urine, or vomit
- Diarrhea for an extended period of time
- A fever higher than 101.5 F
- Blurry vision, muscle weakness, and a tingling sensation in the arms
Here are some of the most common, potentially life-threatening types of food poisoning:
- Bacteria – E. Coli, Listeria, Salmonella, Campylobacter, and Botulism
- Parasite – Giardia, Toxoplasma, Amoeba, Trichinella, Taenia Solium
- Viruses – Norovirus, Sapovirus, Rotavirus, Hepatitis A
Fortunately, most types of foodborne illnesses are preventable by taking proper food preparation and consumption precautions. Always ensure that meat, eggs, and dairy are unspoiled and properly prepared. This precaution should be taken with raw fish and shellfish as well. Prevent cross-contamination by ensuring that the juices from raw meats and fish do not come into contact with other food you plan to serve. Above all, ensure frequent hand-washing is a part of food preparation.
Talk to a Contaminated Food Attorney in New York
If you or someone you know has contracted a serious foodborne illness due to another party’s negligence, you may be entitled to financial compensation. Food poisoning can have serious consequences, especially for the vulnerable, like the elderly or young children. At Hach & Rose, LLP, our experienced attorneys do not take cases of foodborne illness lightly, particularly if a manufacturer or distributor of food products fails to meet safety regulations or knowingly allowed tainted food to be sold and consumed. Call us at (212) 779-0057 to schedule a free consultation to speak with our attorneys.