If you think you are safe from food poisoning because you maintain a vegan diet, think again. Although animal products like meat and dairy can harbor harmful bacteria, so can produce and grains. Take the time to learn about which specific vegan and vegetarian foods can potentially put you at risk for suffering from food poisoning and how you can reduce these risks through proper food handling and storage. Even with taking these steps, remember that you can never completely eliminate your risk of becoming ill from contaminated food. If you do experience food poisoning because of another party’s negligence, you can potentially recover compensation for your damages through a personal injury claim.
Canned Products can Contain Botulism
If you buy and consume canned products, beware of botulism. Botulism is a rare form of food poisoning that can be deadly. Do not consume food from cans that:
- Are leaking;
- Bulge at the ends;
- Smell bad; or
- Air rushes out of the can when it is opened.
Bacteria Can be Transmitted to Produce by Hands
Salmonella, E.Coli, and other harmful bacteria and parasites can be transmitted to raw produce by its handlers. Between the farm and your plate, your food has been handled by many different people: its harvester, the employees at the manufacturing and packaging plant, the distributor, and the employee who stocked the produce on a grocery store or farmer’s market shelf. At any stage in this chain, an individual could transmit harmful bacteria to the produce by handling it without having thoroughly washed his or her hands. This is why it is so important for you to thoroughly wash all produce before you consume it.
Purchase a vegetable brush and produce wash to ensure that your produce is thoroughly cleaned before you incorporate it into your next meal. If you do not have vegetable wash, wash your produce thoroughly with hot water before consuming it.
Produce has Safe Temperature Limits, Too
You are probably familiar with the “danger zone,” the range of temperatures between 39 and 140 degrees Fahrenheit where harmful bacteria can grow in prepared foods. Generally, dishes that contain meat and dairy are mentioned in discussions about the danger zone. It is important to pay close attention to your produce’s temperature, as well, especially with pre-cut and packaged goods. Keep these and other perishable fruits and vegetables in your refrigerator or on ice to keep their temperature from going above 40 degrees.
Work with an Experienced Mundelein Food Poisoning Lawyer
Whether you are a carnivore, an omnivore, or a herbivore, you are at risk of suffering from food poisoning if you consume harmful bacteria. When your exposure to harmful bacteria is because of another party’s negligence, you could be entitled to recover compensation for your damages through a personal injury claim. To learn more, contact our team of food poisoning lawyers at Newland & Newland, LLP today to set up your initial consultation in our office. We serve clients in the Arlington Heights, Palatine, Rolling Meadows, Libertyville, Mundelein, Buffalo Grove, Schaumburg, Elk Grove, and Itasca areas.
(image courtesy of Brooke Cagle)