How Many Cases of Food Poisoning are Reported Each Year?
While the American food supply is among the safest in the world, the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) estimates that there are about 48 million cases of foodborne illness each year in the United States -- the equivalent of sickening 1 in 6 people annually. Each year, these illnesses result in an estimated 128,000 hospitalizations and 3,000 deaths, according to the FDA.
Related Article: Food Poisoning Lawsuits
Why Do So Many Cases of Food Poisoning Go Unreported?
Data from the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) suggests there is a massive under-reporting of foodborne illnesses by consumers. This may be due to consumers' lack of knowledge about safe food handling practices and consequences when these practices are not followed, as well as misplaced concerns regarding the source of safety risks.
Additionally, many people don't report getting sick from contaminated food because they don't realize they have food poisoning. Symptoms of a foodborne illness are similar to those of other illnesses, such as vomiting, diarrhea, headache, and fever.
How to Report Food Poisoning
If you think you or someone you know got sick from food purchased at a restaurant or grocery store, you should report it to your local health department immediately. Report it even if you don’t know what food made you sick. Reporting an illness can help public health officials identify a foodborne disease outbreak and keep others from getting sick.
Related Article: How Do I Prove I Have Food Poisoning?
How Serious is Food Poisoning?
Most people only suffer from mild foodborne illnesses, lasting a few hours to several days. However, some food poisoning illnesses require hospitalization and cause long-term health problems or even death.
What Helps Food Poisoning?
If you think you may have a food poisoning illness, you should stop eating and drinking for a few hours. Try sucking on ice chips or taking small sips of water. You might also try drinking clear soda, clear broth or non-caffeinated sports drinks. You might also try oral rehydration solutions if you have severe dehydration or diarrhea.
How Can You Tell the Difference Between Food Poisoning and a Stomach Bug?
The symptoms of a stomach bug will take 12 to 48 hours to develop, while the symptoms of food poisoning typically develop much faster, usually within 6 hours of eating contaminated food. Another common difference is the length of illness. Stomach bugs persist for days or even weeks, while food poisoning typically resolves in a few hours to days.
Get a Free Lawsuit Evaluation With Our Attorneys
The Food Poisoning Litigation Group at our law firm is an experienced group of trial attorneys that focuses on the representation of plaintiffs in food poisoning cases. We are handling individual personal injury cases nationwide and currently offering a free consultation to potential clients in food poisoning cases in all 50 states.
If you or someone you know has experienced symptoms of food poisoning, please contact our lawyers immediately for a free consultation. You may be entitled to compensation by filing a lawsuit and our experienced attorneys can help. Phone a lawyer toll-free at (866) 588-0600 or fill out the contact form below to get your free legal advice from a food safety attorney.