The Food and Drug Administration (FDA) and US Department of Agriculture (USDA) coordinate food recalls each year for products tainted with dangerous pathogens. There are incidents where guests have become ill after eating tainted food at restaurants. Foodborne illnesses are responsible for thousands of hospitalizations in the US each year. Depending on which illness you contract, you could experience symptoms that range from vomiting to paralysis. Common foodborne illnesses in the US include but are not limited to:
- Listeriosis: Listeria monocytogenes can cause listeriosis, a serious bacterial infection. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), soft cheeses, unpasteurized milk, deli meats, hotdogs and various types of fruits and vegetables may contain Listeria.
- Norovirus: Although it is not an influenza virus, norovirus is sometimes called the “stomach flu.” You could be infected by ingesting tainted foods or water. Norovirus is highly contagious. Last year’s outbreak of Norovirus at a Virginia Chipotle might have been the result of a lax sick leave policy.
- Salmonella: The CDC estimates that Salmonella is responsible for 19,000 hospitalizations in the US each year. You could be infected by ingesting beef, eggs, poultry and dairy products that are contaminated with Salmonella
What are Less Common Foodborne Illnesses in the US?
There are also foodborne illnesses that are less common. Rarer foodborne illnesses may also be more serious. These illnesses include:
- Hepatitis A: Hepatitis A is a viral infection that attacks the liver. Attorney Salvatore Zambri, a partner at our firm, has blogged about an outbreak of hepatitis A linked to frozen strawberries.
- Botulism: Botulism is a rare foodborne illness that may be caused by ingesting toxins produced by Clostridium botulinum. These toxins attack your nerves. According to Harvard Medical School, early treatment reduces the risk of permanent disability or death.
- E. coli: You could become very sick after ingesting foods contaminated with E. coli bacteria. Strains that produce the toxin Shiga may lead to serious illness or death.
The Washington DC product liability attorneys at Regan Zambri Long PLLC have experience handling food poisoning cases. You may speak to one of our attorneys at no cost if you or a loved one were harmed by a tainted food product.