Although hard to believe, nearly one in six American consumers will contract food poisoning this year alone.  Most will get sick for a few days, and move on without seeking medical attention or finding out what made them sick  But 128,000 of these victims will be hospitalized, while others will suffer lingering symptoms such as gastrointestinal irregularity, arthritis, other immune problems for months or even years, and about 3000 of these victims will die.

Adulterants Include Bacteria, Viruses, Parasites, Chemicals or Dangerous Substances

The causes of these illnesses will be the presence of one or more adulterants in the food these people eat, with some containing bacteria, some a virus, some a parasite, and others poisonous chemicals or substances.  In nearly every case, the “adulterant” will get into the food because a food manufacturer, preparer or handler failed to employ proper safeguards that are well established.  In fact, human or animal feces are the primary means by which food is contaminated with bacteria and parasites and even some viruses.

According to the CDC, most victims of food poisoning will never be identified because the victims either do not seek medical attention or when they do seek medical attention no testing is performed to see what made them ill.  In most instances were a food poisoning victim is identified, a stool test is performed.. Standard stool tests will identify many bacteria, such as Salmonella (and there are about 2200 strains of Salmonella), campylobacter, or even E. coli, though usually only the more common food borne E. coli O157:H7.  A number of the other forms of E. coli that also shed Shiga-Toxin are not identified.  In those cases, the presence of Shiga –Toxin is indicative of a strain that is non-O157, such a O126 or O121.   Some stool test can identify parasites as well (usually called an O&P for Ova and Parasite test).  There are exceptions, however, such as Cyclospora, which often do not show up in a stool O & P.

Other bacteria, such as Listeria, do not show up in most stool cultures, and are usually only found in blood cultures of those suffering sepsis and in a cerebral spinal fluid (CSF) tap culture for those suffering meningitis.  For this reason, Listeria is rarely properly diagnosed.

Food Poisoning Lawyers Working to Bring an End to Food Poisoning

The food poisoning lawyers at Ron Simon & Associates are working to help reduce the number of food poisoning illnesses in the U.S. each year by (1) holding accountable food manufacturers who fail to employ good food manufacturing and processing procedures; (2) holding accountable food importers who fail to adequately control and test food before they distribute it to the American consumer; (3) holding accountable restaurants that do not abide by good food preparation, including having high standards for personal hygiene, holding foods at appropriate temperatures, and keeping bugs and rodents far away from food supplies; (4) helping health agencies track down toe sources of food borne illnesses; and (5) helping victims of food poisoning recover from their losses while penalizing those who made them sick.

For more information about food poisoning or to speak to a food poisoning lawyer, call 1-888-335-4901.