Food Poisoning at Commercial Restaurants

The federal government reports that 76 million Americans experience some sort of food poisoning each year, with around 5,000 dying as a result. Salmonella poisoning is a common type of food poisoning. There are an estimated 1.4 million cases of Salmonella poisoning each year with many going unreported. Salmonella is an organism that can cause infections in people with weakened immune systems, such as the young or elderly. The symptoms of a Salmonella infection include nausea, fever, and abdominal cramping and occur anywhere from six hours to three days after ingesting the bacteria.

Recent outbreaks of Salmonella poisoning have occurred throughout the country. In Oregon, authorities linked a Mexican restaurant to 17 confirmed cases of Salmonella poisoning. 22 people who had eaten at a popular restaurant in Athens, Ohio came down with the infection. In addition, on the east coast, a restaurant in Newark, New Jersey suffered a Salmonella outbreak, and 23 became sick.

In each of these cases, investigations are ongoing as it can be difficult to pinpoint the exact source of the food poisoning. Investigators have to examine carefully the list of foods served, who ate what and when, and how employees handled the food. If you or a loved one has suffered from food poisoning at the hands of a negligent restaurant, an Orlando personal injury attorney can help you receive compensation.

Dealing with Food Poisoning at Restaurants

  • Take a look at your food. Become aware of what the signs of suspect food are. Bad lettuce will taste unusual and may appear wilted or brown. Check to make sure that your chicken and other meat are cooked. Chicken should not be pink or somewhat clear.
  • Take notes. Most food poisoning incidents go unreported because the symptoms come on quickly and then subside and because people cannot definitively determine what was the cause. If you suspect food poisoning, write down what you ate, where you were over the past two days, when you began to feel poorly, what symptoms you have, and information about whether people in your party also became ill.
  • Report your information to the restaurant and the state’s health authorities. Most restaurants will want to know about your food poisoning. If the poisoning spreads, this can cause a lot of damage to a restaurant’s business and reputation. Health authorities will follow up on complaints to see if they can definitively establish a source of food poisoning.

Even if you are uncertain, it is best to report suspected cases of food poisoning to the health authorities. Your tips can save a lot of other people the pain and discomfort that you experienced. Contact an Orlando personal injury lawyer at Wooten Kimbrough, P.A. if negligently handled food has led to food poisoning for you or a loved one.