Arter & Hadden LLP

Food poisoning can occur during any time when it's produced such as harvesting, growing, storing, processing, shipping or preparing. In most cases, cross-contamination is often the cause of food poisoning. It is important to note that many viral, bacterial or parasitic agents can cause food poisoning. 

There are certain risk factors when it comes to contamination of food such as being pregnant, being older, being an infant or a young child or having a chronic disease.

Keep in mind that the most serious complication of food poisoning is becoming dehydrated. However, if you are an adult and are healthy, drinking plenty of water to replace fluids that are lost with diarrhea and vomiting, should bring you through the dehydration in good shape. But, older adults, infants and those who have a low immune system or chronic illness may be at a higher risk especially if they become severely dehydrated. It is important to note that some types of food poisoning can have serious complications such as E.coli and Listeria.

There are various treatments for food poisoning such as replacing lost fluids, antibiotics and in some cases, hospitalization if the food poisoning becomes severe and symptoms last longer than two weeks.

Symptoms of food poisoning vary according to the kind of contamination. However, most food poisoning symptoms are vomiting, nausea, abdominal pain and cramps, watery diarrhea and fever. Often the signs and symptoms of food poisoning begin several hours after the contaminated food has been eaten but in some cases may not begin until weeks later. The effects of food poisoning often last from one to two weeks.

It is important to note that you should see your doctor if you experience the following symptoms vomiting blood, unable to keep liquids down due to vomiting, severe diarrhea for more than three days, severe abdominal cramping, symptoms of dehydration, unable to talk, double vision or muscle weakness.

Keep in mind that once you have received medical attention and assistance with this health concern, your doctor will take samples which should help him or her find out where the outbreak occurred. Samples will then be compared with food that was served where you ate and later when you became ill. The suffering you go through from food poisoning will form the background on which you can base your claim. It is important to contact an experienced and professional lawyer as soon as you're feeling better from the food poisoning. He or she will advise you on what further steps you need to take. Food poisoning is something that should be taken seriously because it can have adverse effects on your health for a long time and can add up in substantial health costs.

Food poisoning is serious and when it happens it may be time to consider food poisoning claims if you believe it may have been intentional, a good step after this is to contact someone who specializes in legal mediation if you would like to take this further.

Extra information about legal mediation

You may also want to consider contacting the environment health agency. They will conduct an inspection of the restaurant or store in question to see if there are any other health risks.