Can Restaurant Food Poisoning Cause Long-Term Problems?

Man with stomach pain.

A recent CDC study found that foodborne illnesses cause sickness, disability, and premature death that robs US residents of 112,000 years of “healthy life” every year. Food poisoning has a reputation for being intense but short—a brief bit of illness, followed by a quick recovery. But new research is showing a different side of food poisoning.

The subjects of the CDC study were two food poisoning bacteria in particular: Salmonella and Toxoplasma gondii, which collectively rob people of 56,000 years of life every year. Salmonella comes with numerous complications and can show up in most foods; Toxoplasma often affects people younger than 65 and affects over 60 million US residents annually.

For both bacteria, most immune systems are able to hold them off. However, immunocompromised people might suffer brain damage, blindness, or fatal harm from the same exposure. One of the best protections immunocompromised people have is clean kitchen protocols: avoiding cross-contamination, cooking meat to safe and proper temperatures, safe storage, etc.

Following restaurant policies can save lives.

Long-Term Impact of Restaurant Food Poisoning

About 200,000 US residents develop long-term complications from food poisoning every year. Complications include IBS, which comes with chronic pain and social implications, and reactive arthritis, which is a Salmonella-caused condition that creates swelling in the joints triggered by infection. Both conditions affect daily quality of life and general comfort.

Then there’s the infamous E. coli, which shows up in undercooked meat and has sickened hundreds of people since 1993. E. coli in the bloodstream can cause multiple organ failure, including kidney and brain damage.

Can a Restaurant Be Sued for Food Poisoning?

If you suffered a long-term complication from foodborne illness, the next step is determining where you were exposed. Most people blame the last meal they had, which isn’t guaranteed to be the source, but serves as a starting point for investigation. If the problem was a food manufacturer or provider, then it should be possible to find other people who suffered foodborne illness who had the same food.

If the issue was preparation (i.e. the restaurant’s fault), then there may be other customers that night who suffered from food poisoning. In either case, you’re potentially eligible to claim medical costs, lost wages, and noneconomic damages for the harm you suffered. If you’re liable to suffer lifelong effects of foodborne illness like neurological damage, then you deserve compensation on that scale.

Whatever you’re facing, you need to know your legal options. Call Handler, Henning & Rosenberg LLC today for a free, confidential consultation—you can walk us through what happened to you, and we can walk you through your legal options. We’ve won tens of millions of dollars for people who have been wronged throughout Pennsylvania; let’s see what we can do to help.

Call (888) 498-3023 today or contact us online to schedule your free consultation.

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