Becoming sick due to a foodborne illness can leave you laid up your bed or even in a hospital recovering for days. Food-borne illnesses are often the result of negligent food producers failing to uphold their responsibility to adequately ensure their food products are safe for consumption, and if you have contracted one, you may be entitled to financial compensation. A personal injury attorney from the Cambridge, Massachusetts firm of Altman & Altman can get that process started right away.
Typically, products liability claims against the food industry involve contamination (food poisoning, salmonella, etc.), the presence of foreign substances in food, or exploding bottles that result in injuries.
According to the CDC, every year, foodborne diseases cause about 48 million illnesses, resulting in 128,000 hospitalizations and 3,000 deaths in the United States. More and more claims involve allegations of health problems resulting from what some might call unhealthy food products (i.e. fast food), even when those products were chosen by the consumer. Whatever the case may be, defective food can cause serious illness or death, and when food manufacturers and restaurants negligently put unsafe food products on the market, they should be held legally responsible.Tips to Avoid Getting Foodborne Illnesses
Unfortunately, if you ingest a defective food product, you probably will have no way of knowing that it’s defective until you get sick. In other instances, the following tips are helpful in preventing illness:
- Make sure that food from animal sources like meat and eggs are cooked thoroughly
- If you suspect that your food is undercooked at a restaurant, send it back and ask for a new, clean plate. This might make you feel impolite, but you would feel much worse if you got sick
- Always wash your hands before handling food
- Check expiration dates
- Don’t thaw food at room temperature, instead thaw it in the refrigerator
- Avoid cross-contamination between products like eggs, meat and poultry
- “When in doubt, throw it out.” If there is something off about your food (whether it be the taste, smell, etc.), trust your instincts and get rid of it
You can contract a foodborne illness from anywhere – from a plate of gas station sushi to an exceptional, five-star restaurant. All that matters at the end of the day, legally, is whether or not you can show that a food producer or third party selling the food product exercised negligence in allowing a food item to be consumed, despite having a reasonable suspicion that the food may be contaminated.
Food producers, from farms to chain convenient stores, have a high burden of responsibility to ensure that their food products do not contain foodborne illnesses, and ensuring that they correct any situations as necessary when they do arise. This may not prevent you from getting sick in the first place, but it shows a commitment to righting a wrong that might make a difference for other consumers.
Regardless, if you have suffered due to a foodborne illness, you may have legal recourse available to you. Altman & Altman LLP has a team of products liability attorneys that cannot be beat. Our exceptional lawyers bring over 50 years of experience and success to the table. We are talented practitioners, aggressive advocates and sympathetic listeners. We approach every case with one goal in mind – success for our clients. We offer our clients the close attention that is characteristic of small law offices as well as the professional credentials and resources that are characteristic of large firms.
Call one of the talented personal injury attorneys from Altman & Altman LLP at 617-492-3000 or 800-481-6199 toll-free, or contact us via our convenient online chat for a free consultation. We are available 24/7 to help you understand the legal context surrounding your claim and will be there for you every step of the process. Our professionals and staff are also fluent in a variety of languages.