Experts at the Center for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) estimate that food poisoning affects almost 80 million people annually, causing nearly 8 million deaths worldwide. Food poisoning is when a person becomes ill from eating contaminated food. Common contaminates that can cause food poisoning include bacteria, viruses, parasites, and toxins. There are over 250 known agents that can cause food poisoning and nearly 60% of food poisoning outbreaks are caused by unknown agents.
Many cases of food poisoning are mild with a complete recovery occurring in a couple days, but sometimes food poisoning can cause severe complications and death. People who suffer a bout of food poisoning can have symptoms ranging from mild discomfort to severe intestinal pain, which some sufferers remaining symptom-free. Many of the symptoms depend on the type and amount of contaminate ingested. Some symptoms develop rapidly while others may take days or weeks to manifest.
Different types of food poisoning exhibit different symptoms. The most frequently seen cases include:
- Staph Aureus – symptoms include rapid onset of nausea, dizziness, severe vomiting, and abdominal cramping.
- E. Coli Enteritis – symptoms begin with large amounts of watery diarrhea and fever, then progresses to severe bloody diarrhea and abdominal cramps.
- Salmonella – symptoms include headache, nausea, fever, abdominal pain, vomiting, and diarrhea accompanied by abdominal cramping.
- Shigella – symptoms include fever, nausea, vomiting, abdominal cramping, diarrhea containing blood and/or mucus, and a persistent urge to have a bowel movement.
- Campylobacter – symptoms include fever, malaise, headache, muscle aches, and watery diarrhea.
- Cholera – symptoms may include headache, fever with chills, nausea, leg cramps, watery diarrhea, and abdominal cramps.
- Botulism – symptoms start with blurred or double vision, then progresses to speech problems, general weakness, difficulty swallowing, breathing difficulty, and partial paralysis.
- Mushroom Poisoning – generally, symptoms include nausea, vomiting, and diarrhea. Depending on the type of mushroom ingested, individuals may experience shaking, sweating, and hallucinations.
- Listeria – symptoms may include fever, nausea, diarrhea, and muscle aches. If the poisoning starts to affect the nervous system, individuals may experience a stiff neck, loss of balance, confusion, and/or convulsions.
- Bacillus Cereus – symptoms include a rapid onset of nausea and vomiting and may or may not include diarrhea and abdominal cramping.
- Fish Poisoning – symptoms may include numbness or a burning sensation around the mouth and lips, nausea, dizziness, rapid heartbeat, a red rash on the upper body, muscle pain, vomiting, and general weakness.
- Yersinia – abdominal pain on the right side of the body is the predominate symptom, followed by fever and bloody diarrhea.
Food poisonings cause the death of nearly 8 million deaths annually, over 5,000 in the United States alone. The elderly and infants have the highest risk of contracting food poisoning. Individuals with weakened immune systems, people who frequently travel outside of the United States, and pregnant women also have a high risk of developing complications from food poisoning. Individuals are warned to seek medical treatment if food poisoning is the suspected cause of illness, as some cases of food poisoning can become life-threatening in a relatively short time period.
The Information contained on this page is for informational purposes only and does not constitute medical or legal advice. If you feel that you or someone you know has food poisoning, seek medical attention immediately by visiting your doctor of by dialing 911.
Do I have a Food Poisoning Lawsuit?
The Personal Injury Litigation Group at our law firm is an experienced team of trial lawyers that focus exclusively on the representation of plaintiffs in food poisoning lawsuits. We are handling individual and group outbreak litigation nationwide and currently accepting new food poisoning cases in all 50 states.
If you or a loved one have been the victim of food poisoning, you should contact us immediately. You may be entitled to compensation for your injuries by filing a food poisoning lawsuit and we can help.