Everyone has to eat every day, and many of those meals may be the source of serious illness. According to the Federal Drug Administration, FDA, there are more than 48 million cases of food borne illness each year in the United States. These illnesses result in more than 125,000 hospitalizations and an estimated 3,000 deaths. It is apparent that everyone needs to have food safety concerns.

Illnesses Caused by Unsafe Food

Food safety concerns are an issue, especially for young children and elderly adults. Food must be handled safely and cooked properly in order to reduce the risk of illness. There are many various types of bacteria or organisms which can cause illness. The most common of these include salmonella, E. coli, listeria, and norovirus. These can cause serious illnesses that may include symptoms such as diarrhea, vomiting, abdominal pain, fatigue, and loss of appetite. Most people experience minor symptoms and may recover quickly. However, for some people, the illness can cause more serious medical conditions and may even cause death.

Preventing Food Borne Illnesses

The majority of food borne illnesses happen after eating prepared foods, such as from a restaurant. Sometimes, home cooks can create problems when proper preparation or storage is not done. Food recalls often occur well after the products have been sold to consumers. Only after people become ill does the company investigate the problem and issue a recall. It is important that you examine food in your cupboard or freezer once a recall has been announced.

Take Care in Restaurants

Of course, sometimes you may not be aware of problems with food safety when eating at a restaurant. For example, one famous nationwide chain restaurant recently had to close some of its locations for a time after people became sickened with norovirus after eating there. If you become extremely ill you likely require medical attention. The most problematic difficulty that people experience is dehydration because they are not able to eat or drink while they are sick. Intravenous fluid intake may be necessary.

What to Do If You Become Sick

If you or a family member become sick after eating food it is important to first determine the source of the illness. This can sometimes be tricky because most people don’t keep track of everything they eat. Illnesses can sometimes occur hours or even days after eating the tainted food. Report the problem to the restaurant as soon as possible after becoming ill and inquire as to whether other customers reported being sick.   Serious illnesses may require you to take legal action to get the compensation necessary to pay for your medical costs and other damages. Contact a qualified personal injury lawyer to learn your options.


This blog should be used for informational purposes only. It does not create an attorney-client relationship with any reader and should not be construed as legal advice. If you need legal advice regarding Food Safety Concerns, or any other personal injury, please feel free to contact Brian T. Allen at  480.461.5335,  log on to udallshumway.com,  or contact an attorney in your area. Udall Shumway PLC is located in Mesa, Arizona and is a full service law firm. We assist Individuals, families, businesses, schools and municipalities in Mesa and the Phoenix/East Valley.