Food Poisoning: Can You Be Compensated?

Posted on: 9 March 2017


You've worked hard this week, and now it's time to relax and go out to dinner with your family. Sometimes, this treat turns into a negative experience, especially if food poisoning crashes your party. Anytime you encounter a situation where food has been prepared by someone else, you have the potential to suffer from any number of food-borne illnesses. Salmonella, for example, is a leading cause of food-borne illnesses in the United States. You do have the right to a night out without suffering from the debilitating symptoms of food poisoning. Read on to learn more about salmonella poisoning and getting monetary damages for it. 

Salmonella: What to Know

You can find this bacteria in almost any food, but it often affects meat, eggs, and poultry. It is not uncommon to find vegetables and fruit tainted by salmonella, however. If you've ingested a food that contains salmonella, you can expect to become ill fairly soon, usually about 12-17 hours after eating. Once you become sick, the illness can take several days to clear away. Some of the more common symptoms include:

  • Body pain
  • Headaches
  • Diarrhea
  • Stomach cramping
  • Vomiting
  • Chills and fever
  • Dehydration caused by the vomiting and diarrhea

Treatments for Salmonella Poisoning

Many otherwise healthy adults can "stomach" a bout with salmonella by seeking medical care and waiting it out. Those who have more vulnerable medical conditions, such as those that are elderly, very young, or pregnant, may need to be extra vigilant about seeking treatment right away. Those who have compromised immune systems are most at risk. Salmonella poisoning is diagnosed with blood and stool samples. You should insist on having lab tests run, since it could be a major supporting piece of evidence if you take legal action against the restaurant later.

What to Do

1. If you brought any food home with you, be sure to save the containers since they can also be tested for the presence of salmonella.

2. Locate and keep any receipts or bills from your restaurant visit.

3. If you got sick, it is very likely that others did too. Make sure to report your illness to your local health department so that action can be taken against the eating establishment.

4. Don't try to tough it out alone, seek medical care, follow all treatments and follow up with your doctor as instructed.

5. Keep yourself hydrated by drinking lots of water. Avoid caffeinated liquids and dairy.

No matter what type of bug tainted your food, you have the potential to take legal action against the restaurant. Talk to a personal injury attorney like Hardee and Hardee LLP to start building your case.