Food Poisoning Deaths Can Be Prevented

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Food Poisoning Deaths Can Be Prevented

I’m Ed Smith, a North Highlands wrongful death lawyer. Food poisoning causes numerous illnesses each year. It causes thousands of death in the United States too. The culprits can be found at every level in the food chain from livestock holding areas to your kitchen counter. While home cooks can learn to protect their family with good food-handling techniques, diners are at the mercy of restaurant food preparers and personnel.

What Causes Food Poisoning?

Food poisoning is caused by a variety of bacteria and viruses. The most common are:

  • Norovirus: Norovirus is easy to contract since it can be present on surfaces or on food. It can also be transmitted from one person to another. It causes stomach distress, nausea and vomiting and diarrhea. An infected person may also have a fever, body aches and a headache. It erupts about 12 to 48 hours after exposure and resolves within several days. One of the main dangers is dehydration. This can be serious in small children and older individuals. In these groups, severe dehydration along with preexisting conditions can lead to death. It ranked as the top cause of food pathogens, and 150 people died in the United States in 2016. Restaurant cooks and personal should not be allowed to handle food when ill.
  • Salmonella: This bacteria causes diarrhea, nausea and vomiting, fever and cramps and generally lasts about a week. It is mainly found on fruits and vegetables but can be found on poultry and eggs. Fruits need to be washed before cutting into them to prevent human illness. Three hundred and eighty individuals died from Salmonella in 2016.
  • Clostridium perfringens/Clostridium botulinum: This bacteria is found in the environment and on raw poultry and meat. It survives at temperatures of 109 to 107 degrees Fahrenheit and at 12 to 60 degrees Fahrenheit. It will grow in warming trays used to keep quantities warm for serving over an extended period. Only heating the food to an appropriate temperature will kill it. Serving areas should be checked routinely for temperature and time the food is held. Annual deaths from this illness are 26 yearly. Clostridium botulinum is found in untreated water, soil and preserved or canned foods and causes botulism
  • Listeria: Foods are contaminated with this bacteria. Symptoms include diarrhea, balance problems, stiff neck, convulsions and fever. Pregnant women are at risk since it either causes harm to the newborn, miscarriage or premature delivery.
  • E. Coli: This bacteria is in the intestines of both people and animals. E. Coli that produces Shiga-toxin (STEC) is the most dangerous and responsible for 20 deaths or more a year. The most common form of STEC in the United States is labeled E. coli O157:H. The very young are most likely to develop severe disease and develop hemolytic uremic syndrome. Food preparers with E. Coli infection should not be allowed to handle food.
  • Campylobacter: Most cases are due to under cooked or raw poultry, however, contaminated water or raw milk can cause illness. Symptoms include bloody diarrhea, intestinal cramps and fever. The symptoms generally persist for a week. Immunosuppressed individuals can develop an overwhelming infection. About 76 people die in the United States annually.

Cost of Food Handling Negligence

Food poisoning is the reason for approximately 325,000 hospitalizations and about 5,000 deaths, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Common ways to become ill outside of the home is through unsafe handling of food in restaurants and in prepackaged food. Restaurants are required to follow strict hygiene practices, however, many do not. For instance, food handlers who are infected should not be allowed to handle food, from chefs to servers. Some food preparers fail to keep raw foods separate, and clean surfaces where raw foods were manipulated. Strict hand washing and food prep techniques to decrease the spread of disease should be monitored by the establishment.

Filing a Claim for Compensation When a Family Member Dies

When a facility fails to utilize proper preventive strategy to avoid food poisoning, the owner/person-in-charge is failing in their obligation to guests. If a family member dies as a result of food poisoning, the survivors have a right to file a wrongful death claim. This will help the family deal with medical costs as well as funeral and burial expenses. In addition, if the decedent suffered prior to death, as many people do, the family can also file a survivor’s action on the deceased’s behalf. In this, the family claims personal injury to the decedent prior to death.

North Highlands Wrongful Death Lawyer

I’m Ed Smith, a North Highlands wrongful death lawyer. If a restaurant or other facility fails to use established methods of food poisoning prevention, they are negligent in their duty to the public. When a family member dies due to this negligence, you need an experienced injury lawyer at your side. Call me at (916) 921-6400 for friendly and free advice. You can also reach me at (800) 404-5400 toll free or online.

I’ve assisted residents of North Highlands since 1982 to obtain just compensation for injuries from bicycle and auto accidents as well as pedestrian incidents and motorcycle crashes.

I appear in the forum for the Million Dollar Advocates. This is a group for trial lawyers who have obtained settlements and verdicts for a minimum of $1 million.

You can find the the results I’ve provided clients on the verdicts and settlements page of AutoAccident.com, my website.

Find out more about my legal practice on Avvo, Google and Yelp.

To see former case results, visit settlements and verdicts.

Photo Attribution: https://pixabay.com/en/bell-pepper-capsicum-red-569070/

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