According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, approximately 48 million people suffer from food poisoning each year. The thought of contracting food poisoning can be petrifying. Often associated with discomfort, most foodborne illnesses are relatively mild and clear up within a few hours or days. In some cases, however, individuals experience organ damage, coma, and even death. If you experienced symptoms related to food poisoning, it is important to contact our Colorado food poisoning lawyers to learn about your rights.
What is Food Poisoning?
Food poisoning is caused by ingesting food or water that has been contaminated with certain bacteria, viruses, toxins, or parasites. Food poisoning occurs when food is improperly handled during the manufacturing process or is not prepared at proper temperatures.
What are Common Types of Food Poisoning?
Some of the more common types of food poisoning include:
- Staphylococcus Aureus: Symptoms appear 1-6 hours after eating and include stomach cramps, nausea, and vomiting. Staphylococcus aureus has been associated with improperly cooked foods;
- Clostridium Perfringens: Symptoms appear 6- 24 hours after eating and include stomach cramps and diarrhea. The symptoms are usually sudden and last roughly one day. Clostridium Perfringens is associated with improperly handled beef or poultry, precooked foods, and gravies;
- Norovirus: Symptoms appear 12-48 hours after eating and include nausea, stomach pain, diarrhea, and vomiting. Norovirus is associated with fresh fruit, vegetables, leafy greens, and shellfish.
- Salmonella: Symptoms appear 12-72 hours after eating and include fever, diarrhea, vomiting, and stomach cramps. Salmonella is associated with undercooked or raw turkey, chicken, eggs, raw fruits, unpasteurized milk and juice, raw vegetables, and some animals.
- Clostridium Botulinum: Symptoms appear 18-36 hours after eating and include drooping eyelids, blurry vision, double vision, difficulty swallowing, dry mouth, difficulty breathing, muscle weakness, and paralysis. Botulism is associated with foods that were not properly fermented or canned, as well as illicit alcohol;
- Vibrio: Symptoms appear 24-72 hours after eating and include nausea, stomach cramps, watery diarrhea, chills, and fever. Vibrio is associated with undercooked or raw shellfish, usually oysters.
- Campylobacter: Symptoms appear 48-72 hours after eating and include stomach cramps, fever, and bloody diarrhea. This germ is caused by contaminated water.
- E Coli: Symptoms appear within three to four days and include diarrhea that is often bloody, vomiting, and severe stomach cramps. E. Coli is associated with unpasteurized milk and juice, undercooked or raw ground beef, contaminated water, raw sprouts, and raw vegetables.
- Cyclospora: Symptoms appear in approximately 1 week and include stomach cramps, increased gas, fatigue, nausea, bloating, watery diarrhea, weight loss, and loss of appetite. This germ is associated raw fruits, vegetables, and herbs.
- Listeria: Symptoms appear in 1-4 weeks and include stiff neck, headaches, loss of balance, confusion, fever, convulsions, and muscle aches. Pregnant women may experience flu-like symptoms, including fever, muscle aches, and fatigue. The infection could cause death or serious illness in newborns. Listeria is associated with soft cheeses such as queso fresco, melons, sprouts, hot dogs, deli meats, pâtés, smoked seafood, and unpasteurized milk.
What Symptoms are Associated with Food Poisoning?
Most food poisoning cases are mild in nature and resolve within a couple of days. The more serious cases of food poisoning carry more significant symptoms. The common symptoms associated with foodborne illnesses include the following:
- Bloody stools
- Abdominal Cramps and Pain;
- Loss of Appetite;
How is Food Poisoning Diagnosed?
To diagnose food poisoning, a medical doctor must compile a detailed medical and personal history that includes the length and type of symptoms and the foods consumed. The doctor will also perform a comprehensive physical examination to look for any indicators associated with food poisoning. If necessary, the doctor will order diagnostic testing, which may include a stool culture, blood test, and a stool examination to identify parasites. If infectious organisms are found in the stool, the doctor will notify the local health department to determine if there is a link to other food poisoning cases in the community.
What is the Recommended Treatment for Food Poisoning?
The recommended treatment for food poisoning depends greatly on the source of the illness and the severity of symptoms. Many cases resolve without any treatment within a few days. However, every individual who suffers from food poisoning should consider available treatments including:
- Lost Fluid Replacement – Because of extensive vomiting and diarrhea, the patient can easily lose essential electrolytes and fluids and will need to replace calcium, potassium, and sodium to ensure their electrolytes remain balanced in the body.
- Antibiotics – If the source of the contaminated food is caused by bacteria, the doctor may recommend antibiotics, usually given intravenously during hospitalization. This is especially important when pregnant to prevent the baby from becoming infected.
Can I sue a Restaurant for Food Poisoning?
It is possible for a victim of food poisoning to sue the company that manufactures the contaminated food or the restaurant that served it. Both entities may be held liable for failure to exercise reasonable care in preparing and storing food. They may also be found strictly liable for a defective food product.
Contact our Colorado Food Poisoning Lawyers
To make this determination, it is important to contact our Colorado food poisoning lawyers to investigate. If you have questions about whether you have a legal cause of action against the manufacturer or restaurant that caused your food poisoning, contact the Colorado food poisoning lawyers at Bowman & Chamberlain, LLC, today. There is no charge for the consultation. Our Colorado personal injury law firm is committed to client satisfaction. Contact us today.