When Food Poisoning Occurs

When you decide to eat out, rather than making dinner at home you are doing so with the belief that a restaurant has taken care in the meals they prepare. This includes using the required sanitary techniques, properly storing and preparing food and ensuring nothing has passed its expiration date. Unfortunately many people incur food poising as a result of eating out at a restaurant or buying their food from the store. Food poisoning is caused by harmful microbes that live and grow in food. Of the agents that are known to cause food-borne illnesses, they are categorized into toxic agents and infection agents. Toxic agents include pesticides used on food items that are grown, mushrooms and exotic food items that have not been prepared in the correct manner. Infectious agents are made up of parasites, viruses and bacteria.

There are at least 250 variations of food poisoning and more that continue to be discovered. Estimations state that possibly 68% of hospitalization or food-borne illnesses occur from agents that have yet to be discovered. Microorganisms are always growing and adapting, sometimes becoming immune to the defenses we take against them. In 2001 an average of one out of every six people experienced food poisoning from the food they ate. Of that amount, 128,000 of those resulted in hospitalizations and 3,000 led to a death. The common illnesses felt by those who are infected include abdominal cramping, vomiting, fever, upset stomach, dehydration. With the high number of infectious agents there are numerous other symptoms that can occur as well. Often times, food poisoning can be unpleasant diarrhea or vomiting for a period of time as the body’s defense to get out the harmful pathogens. Other times it can be much more serious, causing significant or permanent results. If hospitalization is required, the medical bills can be extremely high and may not all be covered by insurance.

Salmonella is a widely known cause of food-borne illness and is one of the cases that is seen the most often. It has made countless news stories, gaining media attention for the outbreaks in common food items such as tomatoes. Every year, around 40,000 cases are reported to the Center for Disease Control and Prevention, while estimates of 1 million are believed to actually occur. Of those cases, around 400 result in a death. Others may be hospitalized for their illnesses, typically including fever, diarrhea or stomach cramping. Salmonella alone can result in around $356 million in medical expenses. When a case of food poisoning causes effects such as hospitalization or a wrongful death, it is necessary to take legal action against those who are responsible for providing the contaminated food. A legal expert can be a great asset to any case. Effectively arguing that as a direct result of the contaminated food that was sold, the individual sustained the damaging effects of food poisoning.