Regulators from the Food and Drug Administration say they have been unable to identify the source of contamination in a food poisoning outbreak that resulted in people being told to avoid romaine lettuce last fall. They studied a water reservoir at a Santa Barbara County farm in California that was contaminated with E. coli. However, the contaminated reservoir does not explain how other farms growing lettuce were also contaminated.
In addition, the short shelf-life of the leafy green makes it even more difficult to perform investigations in these types of outbreaks. Although food safety in leafy greens has been a long-standing issue, the industry continues to search for ways to minimize the risk. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention states that when eating raw produce there is always a risk of being contaminated with a foodborne illness.
Pursuing Compensation for Food Poisoning
When you buy food from a restaurant or grocery store, you do not expect to get food poisoning. However, there is plenty of contaminated food that gets sold and served to consumers. This can result in a variety of conditions. The CDC estimates that some 48 million people become sick due to foodborne illnesses each year. These illnesses result in 128,000 hospitalizations and a whopping 3,000 deaths. That is why it is important to understand your right to file a lawsuit if you are the victim of such an illness.
Evidence is Key
Lawsuits for food poisoning cases are much more likely to succeed if many people have been affected. Because these cases rely on evidence that must be clear beyond the shadow of a doubt these cases can be particularly tricky. That is where an experienced attorney can help. A food poisoning attorney can perform extensive investigations to determine if additional people were infected in order to give your lawsuit more weight in court.
Is it Worth Filing a Food Poisoning Case?
While these cases can be tricky, they are still worth pursuing if you became so sick that you had to be hospitalized and incurred significant medical expenses. If you missed time off from work or have a loved one who missed work to help care for you, it may be worth filing a food poisoning lawsuit.
What You Need to Know
If you choose to file a food poisoning lawsuit, it is not uncommon for the defendant in the case to blame the plaintiff. They may try to question how you stored your food or other ways that you may have contributed to your own illness. They may also try to prove that you have suffered food poisoning in the past. That is why it is important to provide evidence, such as a stool sample, that will provide proof of contamination.
Contact an Experienced Food Poisoning Attorney Today
If you have become ill after eating contaminated food, you may be entitled to compensation from the people who were responsible for your illness. The attorneys at Newland & Newland, LLP will review your case and determine what your legal options are. Contact us today to schedule a consultation.We serve clients in the Arlington Heights, Palatine, Rolling Meadows, Libertyville, Mundelein, Buffalo Grove, Schaumburg, Elk Grove, and Itasca areas.
(image courtesy of Petra Cigale)