According to the CDC, each year 1,600 new cases of Listeriosis result in approximately 260 deaths. Listeriosis infections occur after consuming food contaminated with the bacterium Listeria monocytogenes, a rod-shaped bacteria, remarkably resistant to refrigeration and freezing. Listeria bacteria are best controlled by cooking raw food and pasteurizing milk and cheeses.
When food is contaminated and sold to the public, food poisoning illnesses can lead to severe injuries and deaths. When companies fail to provide food that is tested and verified to be safe for consumption, your Listeria Recall Lawyer can file lawsuits and plaintiffs can recover rightful compensation.
Most reported cases affect adults with a compromised immune system, the elderly, pregnant women and newborns. Alarmingly, it is possible for babies to contract Listeriosis in utero if their mothers eat contaminated food during pregnancy. The risks are much higher among immunocompromised individuals, however, any person consuming contaminated foods or beverages can fall ill.
Initial symptoms of Listeriosis are often flu-like. Patients typically experience fever and other non-specific symptoms, such as fatigue and muscle aches.
In many cases, people do not seek medical assistance until the infection has advanced beyond the gastrointestinal tract. Once the pathogen is ingested, it may travel through the bloodstream into the central nervous system. This allows Listeria to possibly attack the brain, resulting in meningitis and encephalitis.
Most infections follow the consumption of food contaminated with Listeria monocytogenes. If Listeria bacteria is introduced into a food processing facility, it can possibly grow there for years.
The bacteria is known to find host in several types of food, and is able to survive at refrigerated temperatures. Vegetables can be contaminated in water and soil carrying bacteria. Raw animal products are also susceptible to Listeria.
In 2011, the largest Listeriosis outbreak in American history occurred, when 147 illnesses, 33 deaths, and one miscarriage were reported among residents of 28 states. The outbreak was linked to cantaloupe from a single farm in Colorado. More recently, outbreaks of Listeria have been caused by:
• Raw produce like lettuce, cucumbers, peaches, plums, nectarines, and apples.
In 2015, Granny Smith and Gala apples were recalled after 34 people were hospitalized across 12 states after an outbreak of Listeria found in caramel apples. Listeriosis contributed to at least 3 of the 7 deaths reported. In addition, 11 illnesses were pregnancy-related, with one illness resulting in a fetal loss. Meningitis was also reported among otherwise healthy children aged 5-15 years. Dole also recalled all salad mixes produced in one Ohio facility.
• Raw milk and cheese (unpasteurized).
Several companies have issued recalls for cheese products linked to Listeria detection, including Crave Brothers Farmstead Cheese Company and Oasis Brands, Inc.
• Processed foods
Ice cream, smoked seafood, and ready-to-eat meats, such as deli ham and hot dogs. Blue Bell Creameries recalled all of its products in 2015 after an outbreak in four different states.
Listeria’s severe consequences make it among the most serious of foodborne infections. For women, infections during pregnancy can lead to miscarriage, stillbirth, premature delivery, or life-threatening infection of the newborn.
Other complications include the following:
• Brain Stem Damage
• Cranial Nerve Palsies
• Cervical Cord Compression
Most reported cases affect adults with a compromised immune system, the elderly, pregnant women and newborns. Alarmingly, it is possible for babies to contract Listeriosis in utero if their mothers eat contaminated food during pregnancy.
The risks are much higher among immunocompromised individuals, however, any person consuming contaminated foods or beverages can fall ill. Food poisoning should not be taken lightly. If you feel ill after consuming a contaminated product, contact a medical professional.
It is crucial to preserve evidence of the contaminated food for possible legal action. Save whatever food remains, or medical records that indicate a specific food-related diagnosis. Contact an experienced lawyer to assist in the recovery of medical costs, lost wages, and pain and suffering.
ABOUT THE LYON FIRM
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The Firm focuses on single-event civil cases and class actions involving corporate neglect & fraud, toxic exposure, product defects & recalls, medical malpractice, and invasion of privacy.
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Serious injuries and accidents often result through no fault of the injured party, yet the injured victim suffers from life altering physical, mental and financial losses. Such economic and human losses can have devastating financial consequences on individuals and families if not properly compensated. Tort law allows those individuals to seek just legal recourse through personal injury lawsuits.
According to the most recent data collected by the CDC, the majority (64 percent) of serious food poisoning outbreaks are caused by food prepared at restaurants, catering events or banquet facilities.
A legal claim against a company is likely to get a fast settlement if you hire an experience personal injury attorney. Filing a lawsuit indicates to the company that you are prepared to prove with sufficient evidence that their negligence caused a serious illness.
A legal claim also communicates to the company that you have an attorney that is willing to fight the company for however long it takes to win rightful compensation.
Once an injury claim is filed, an attorney can take legal steps to obtain relevant corporate and health department documents to help bolster a food poisoning case. Without a lawsuit, it may be difficult to get important company information. At this point, an attorney can interview restaurant employees, management, and other people involved to get additional information.
If you fall seriously ill, you may not be the only one. You may be part of an outbreak that must be contained for the sake of public health safety. Local health departments should know if you are part of an outbreak. People sickened in an outbreak may be able to seek settlements from the company that owns the restaurant.
Whether you get food poisoning from a restaurant or from contaminated food directly from a distributor, contact an attorney to find out if you have a case to sue for rightful compensation.
Food poisoning occurs when the contaminated food enters the production line — any point during the growing, harvesting, processing, storage, shipping or preparation of the food product. Often cross-contamination and national or international distribution multiply the impacts of a single food outbreak.
The most hazardous culprits include raw foods of animal origin, such as raw meat, poultry, shellfish, uncooked eggs, and unpasteurized milk. Raw fruits and vegetables can also be a concern. Even foods like corn or cereals can contain high levels of mycotoxins, produced by mold on grain.
To protect your legal rights after falling ill from food poisoning, it is important that a medical professional test a urine, blood and stool sample to determine the specific pathogen (bacteria, virus or parasite) that made you sick.
This can narrow down where and how you were affected. Bacterial cells must be sent to a laboratory for genetic testing, and the results will be crucial evidence for a plaintiff. If you have any questions about the important lab testing or legal procedure, contact The Lyon Firm for information.
If the DNA patterns match, this is important evidence that can lead to a successful legal claim. Once you have medical evidence on your side, a personal injury attorney can advise you how to proceed against the negligent party that caused the illness.
Leftover food is sometimes tested to find out if it is contaminated. In some disease outbreaks, lawyers and health officials have gathered leftover food suspected of being the source of an illness. It is important to talk to a lawyer before throwing out leftover food from a restaurant.
Specific treatment for food poisoning depends on the severity and the source of the illness, if known. For most people, the illness resolves without treatment within a few days, though some types of food poisoning can last much longer. Treatment may include: