Long-term effects of food poisoning potentially devastating
When food safety regulations are not followed, contamination by bacteria such as salmonella and e. coli can become a serious health hazard for consumers. Seemingly minor steps, including handwashing and maintaining separation between raw and cooked food, are crucial to the safety of food products sold in stores, served in restaurants, and prepared at home.
When contamination occurs, food poisoning is a very real possibility. Often symptoms of food poisoning are uncomfortable and temporary. Gastrointestinal symptoms can include diarrhea, nausea, and vomiting. However, there are many instances in which a case of food poisoning can mean longer term, more serious issues, requiring hospitalization and extensive treatment.
According to the U.S. Department of Health & Human Services (HHS), serious and long-term effects of food poisoning can include:
Kidney failure. Food contaminated by e. coli bacteria can cause hemolytic-uremic syndrome (HUS). Toxic substances produced by the digestive system after being infected by the bacteria destroy red blood cells and cause the kidneys to fail.
Chronic arthritis. A condition called reactive arthritis can be caused by consuming food contaminated by shigella or salmonella. Joint pain, eye irritations, and painful urinations are potentially long-term symptoms that can lead to chronic arthritis.
Brain and nerve damage. Food contaminated with listeria can cause a person to develop meningitis, an inflammation of the membranes surrounding the brain. Bacterial meningitis, the type caused by listeria contamination, can be very serious and even deadly.
Death. HHS states that 3,000 people die each year from food poisoning related illnesses. Most are caused by contamination by bacteria including salmonella and listeria.
Other Long-Lasting Side-Effects can include post-infectious Irritable Bowel Syndrome, or IBS. This can last a lifetime and cost thousands of dollars each year in medical treatment, prescription and over the counter drugs, and diet modifications.
HHS indicates that 48 million people suffer from some form of food poisoning every year. If you’re one of them, and you want to explore your legal options after consuming contaminated food, contact the food poisoning lawyers at 1-888-335-4901.