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Can I Seek Compensation For Food Poisoning?

By Butler Prather LLP on June 8, 2021

The last thing any person expects when they consume foods or beverages is that they will become sick with food poisoning. Unfortunately, the reality is that there are times when the careless or negligent actions of a restaurant or company can lead to food becoming contaminated or improperly prepared. When this occurs, consumers can become incredibly ill. Here, we want to discuss whether or not you will be able to seek compensation if you have experienced food poisoning due to the actions of a restaurant or company.

How Does Food Poisoning Occur?

Data available from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) shows us that approximately 48 million people get sick from foodborne illnesses each year. Out of those incidents, around 128,000 individuals are hospitalized, and around 3,000 people die.

When a person contracts food poisoning, it generally occurs because the food has been contaminated during the production process or because the food was not properly prepared. There are four basic steps that food goes through. For every step in this process, there is a potential for contamination that can cause a person to become ill:

  • Production. This involves the process of raising animals or growing plants to be used in food. Contaminated water, contaminated livestock feed, or sick animals can result in significant problems at the beginning of this process.
  • Processing. This refers to the process of harvesting plants or slaughtering animals, storing the material, and packaging the food for distribution. This is all part of the processing phase, and contamination can occur here due to the negligence of workers.
  • Distribution. This refers to food being delivered from processing centers to the next destinations, which can include larger distribution centers, grocery stores, or even directly to consumers. During the distribution process, the food could experience temperature fluctuations inside temporary facilities or vehicles, or the food could be handled improperly.
  • Preparation. This is the final step in food preparation and will occur either by the consumer or by a chef/cook inside of a restaurant. Food must always be stored, washed, and prepared at appropriate temperatures before being served to consumers.

According to the CDC, the most common types of food poisoning revolve around the contamination of foods or beverages with one of the following:

  • coli
  • Norovirus
  • Salmonella
  • Listeria
  • Botulism
  • Hepatitis A
  • …and more

Can You Recover Compensation?

If you or somebody you love has become ill because you have contracted food poisoning as a result of the careless or negligent actions of a restaurant or company, you may be entitled to compensation. A skilled Atlanta personal injury or product liability attorney can get to work immediately investigating the incident. They will work to uncover the evidence needed to prove what happened and then vigorously negotiate with insurance carriers and at-fault parties to recover the compensation you are entitled to.

Some of the types of compensation food poisoning victims may be able to secure include the following:

  • Coverage of all medical bills related to the food poisoning
  • Lost income if a person cannot work while they recover
  • Pain and suffering damages
  • Loss of enjoyment of life damages
  • Possible punitive damages against those responsible
    • A company or manufacturer of the product
    • A restaurant or food preparer

Posted in: Personal Injury

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