Food Poisoning in Western PA
Pittsburgh injury attorneys
- How Food Becomes Poisoned
- Types of Illness Due to Food Poisoning
- What to Do If You Become Ill Due to Food Poisoning
- Additional Information
Unfortunately, food poisoning is something that will affect most of us at some point in our lives. Often, it may seem difficult to ascertain which food products made us sick, and our symptoms are brief in duration. However, some of us may experience more serious effects on our health from consuming tainted foods, or have pre-existing health conditions, which are made dramatically worse by food poisoning. Children and the elderly are at special risk for serious health consequences as a result of food poisoning.
Food poisoning can cause serious long-term health conditions as well as loss of work, and can have a serious impact on the quality of your life.
Two main ways one can experience food poisoning are from problems with food that occur before or during the manufacturing or packaging process, and negligent handling and preparation of food in retail establishments.
There are a number of problems that can occur from field to factory, such as negligent cultivation practices that may taint the food with contaminated water or fertilizer, packaging defects that can result in bacterial contamination, and substandard quality control practices that can expose the unsuspecting consumer to spoiled, diseased, or otherwise dangerous products.
Once food products arrive at their retail destination, whether a restaurant or supermarket, there may be additional problems, such as cross-contamination, improper refrigeration, and use of products the establishment should know are spoiled and unsafe for consumption. Very often, state food safety laws have been violated in the preparation and serving of foods that cause food poisoning.
Some of the most common pathogens found in tainted food are various strains of E. coli. While we actually have one kind of E. coli in our intestines to help with digestion of food, when exposed to other kinds, we may become violently ill. One of the main reasons for E. coli contamination is due to cooking food at temperatures too low to kill the harmful bacteria. Salmonella, botulism, campylobacter, clostridium, and staph are other bacteria/toxins that can lead to food poisoning due to improper food handling and cooking.
If you become ill while eating at a restaurant, make sure to save your receipt and request to fill out an incident report. Try to obtain the names of the manager on duty, the person(s) who prepared your food, and your server.
If you eat tainted food products at home, make sure you do not throw out the product. Save the product as well as its original packaging, if still available. Look for the receipt you received from your purchase. If you have to go to the hospital because of your illness, a stool or blood sample may be able to establish food poisoning, and even enable you to identify the product that made you sick. Having this kind of evidence can be particularly useful in proving your case, where the symptoms of food poisoning will often be similar to other health problems.
Keep in mind that because other people often suffer similar symptoms from tainted food products, it is not always difficult to determine from where or what you became ill, or that your illness was due to some negligence on the part of the food manufacturer or retail establishment.
If you believe you have suffered food poisoning and have experienced severe symptoms as a result, please contact our office immediately, as you only have two (2) years to file a claim; however, it is always best to contact an attorney as soon as possible as over time evidence can become lost or destroyed. At Rudberg Law Offices, LLC, we have experienced attorneys who can help gather the information needed in order to pursue food poisoning claims. We are always available to speak with you about your situation.
For additional information, you may find the following links useful:
- Pennsylvania Department of Agriculture, Bureau of Food Safety and Laboratory Services
- U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, Food Safety
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