In the summer of 2016, an E.Coli outbreak in Chicago caused 52 victims to seek medical attention for their symptoms, 19 of whom needed to be hospitalized. The outbreak was linked to a Carbon Live Fire Mexican Grill location. The restaurant closed this location as well as its other Chicago store to prevent new E.Coli cases while cooperating with the Chicago Department of Public Health’s investigation of the outbreak.
Initially, the food poisoning cases could not be linked to a specific food item at the restaurant. But in December 2016, the Chicago Department of Public Health positively linked the outbreak to the cilantro used at the restaurant.
Risks with Cilantro and Other Fresh Herbs and Produce
When many people think of E.Coli, they think of contaminated beef. E.coli is a group of bacteria that can be found in human and animal intestines and if an individual consumes meat from an animal infected with E.Coli, he or she can suffer from E.Coli poisoning.
But E.Coli can be found in non-animal food sources as well, as was demonstrated by the outbreak discussed above. E.Coli bacteria can be transmitted from animal and human feces to herbs and produce. When workers handling produce do not have access to sanitary sinks to wash their hands or have to work with potentially contaminated equipment when harvesting, processing, packaging, or serving produce, they can put any individuals who consume the food they produce at risk of contracting dangerous bacteria and suffering from food poisoning.
Preventing and Treating E.Coli Poisoning
You can reduce your chance of contracting E.Coli in your own home by washing all utensils and dishes thoroughly after using them. Avoid cross contamination by washing cutting boards and utensils between the preparation of different courses. When working with food, always be sure to wash your hands frequently.
If you do suffer from E.Coli poisoning, keep yourself hydrated. Do not use antibiotics or nonprescription drugs like Imodium to treat your infection. Instead, focus on resting and getting adequate hydration to help yourself overcome the infection. If you develop symptoms of dehydration such as jaundice, lightheadedness, fever, and passing small amounts of urine, seek medical attention immediately. Like with other types of food poisoning, infants, the elderly, and individuals with weakened immune systems are more susceptible to E.Coli infection than adults with healthy immune systems.
Work with an Experienced Palatine Food Poisoning Attorney
If you have suffered from the effects of food poisoning after dining at a restaurant or other retail food provider, you could be entitled to recover monetary compensation for your damages through a personal injury claim. To learn more about filing a personal injury claim for food poisoning damages, speak with a member of our team of experienced food poisoning lawyers at Newland & Newland, LLP. We serve clients in the Arlington Heights, Palatine, Rolling Meadows, Libertyville, Mundelein, Buffalo Grove, Schaumburg, Elk Grove, and Itasca areas.
(image courtesy of Monstruo Estudio)