Food poisoning happens every day in the United States. The Center for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) estimates that 76 million Americans suffer from foodborne illnesses each year. Approximately 325,000 of those food poisoning cases require hospitalization and about 5,000 per year result in death. As you can see, illness caused by spoiled or improperly prepared food may have very serious consequences for victims. Many food poisoning cases originate from food prepared in restaurants. If you have suffered food poisoning and believe it came from a restaurant, you are probably wondering what rights you have to sue that restaurant. The truth is that the success of a lawsuit depends on the specific circumstances of your case, but there are some steps you can take to help preserve evidence for your case.
First, if you believe you have suffered food poisoning, make sure you seek medical attention. A medical diagnosis of a specific food-borne pathogen will help prove your illness came from food and not from another type of stomach bug. Ask your doctor to perform a PFGE (pulsed-filed gel electrophoreses) test, which can determine the genetic fingerprint of the particular bacteria that caused your sickness. If other people also received food poisoning from that restaurant, matching PFGE results serves as solid evidence against the restaurant.
Next, make sure you do not throw out any leftovers you have from the restaurant. Those leftovers may be tested and, if positive for the bacteria, will be concrete evidence that the restaurant’s food caused you illness.
Sometimes, food poisoning is not caused by spoiled food, but by sick employees working in a restaurant. A personal injury attorney will know how to investigate the restaurant to see if any of the employees had come to work while sick, however this must be done in a very timely fashion. For this reason, you should always contact an attorney as soon as possible after you suspect food poisoning.
When we go out to a restaurant to dine, we rightfully expect that the food being served is safe to eat and is free from chemical or biological contaminants. Unfortunately, this is not always the case, and each year thousands of Americans are affected by food poisoning each year. Food poisoning can range in severity from a minor annoyance to a more serious condition requiring hospitalization and long-term medical care. As a result, anyone who believes they may have become ill after eating contaminated food at a restaurant should be certain to consult with an experienced Philadelphia personal injury attorney as soon as possible to determine whether they have a claim.
Restaurants have a duty to ensure that the food that they serve their customers is safe to eat and will not cause illness. Some of the ways in which food may become contaminated include the following:
These are just a few of the ways that a restaurant or it’s employees could negligently cause food poisoning. If you suspect that something that you have eaten has gotten you sick, you should seek medical attention as soon as possible. In order to hold a restaurant liable in food poisoning cases, it is essential to be able to prove that the illness arose as a result of eating the food served. In order to do this, it is essential to have the cause of the illness diagnosed, as well as conducting other tests to determine the source of the contamination.
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