Just this month  (March, 2010) a coalition of health and consumer groups  put out a study that estimated the annual health related cost of  “food borne illnesses”  to be $152 BILLION !

While lately there have been a rash of well publicized outbreaks of contamination of everything from meat to  lettuce to peanuts, the effect of food poisoning is an everyday occurrence, making the general public susceptible every time each of us enters any type of public eatery for a snack or a meal.  Health practice standards, set by a variety of government agencies, apply not only to the various type of foods as they are processed, manufactured and distributed, but apply as well to the handling of food in local restaurants and “take out” stores.   The disregard of these established standards is a leading cause leading to food poisoning.

According to the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, 76 million people get sick each year with food borne illnesses and, unfortunately, 5000 die.

For the practicing Personal Injury Attorney, it is crucial in attempting to bring a viable lawsuit, that once food poisoning was confirmed by competent medical examination, the source of the food poisoning can be firmly established.   The experienced Personal Injury attorney has a number of available methods to achieve this end.   The medical exam should reveal the cause of the poisoning–the organism involved.  With that in  hand, the attorney will then work backward to pinpoint the source.

The source may be a well advertised item that has recently been recalled.  It may be from the take-out food someone recently ordered and which, with some luck, may be still available to the victim making it easy to submit for evaluation.  In the case of a restaurant, knowledge of the organism involved would give us an idea as to how long the “incubation period” is for food poisoning to take effect for that particular organism.  Trace that back to the time the victim ate in a particular restaurant, and your suspect is before you.

Food poisoning can be extremely serious, and painful.  Too often individuals confuse signs of food poisoning with flu or other symptoms.

Below, for your help, is a list of common food poisoning symptoms.  If you ever suspect you, or a relative or friend, was a victim of food poisoning, try to do all you can to identify the source as soon as possible.


—onset of symptoms often sudden and abrupt

—watery and/or bloody diarrhea



—bloating and gas