Sickened by
food poisoning?
Call (612) 337-6126

Elliot Olsen is a nationally known foodborne illness lawyer who has regained millions for clients. If you or a family member were sickened by food poisoning and believe negligence played a role, you might have cause to file a lawsuit. Please call (612) 337-6126 for a free consultation.

If you have ever been sickened by food poisoning, take heart: You are not alone.

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) estimates that 48 million Americans are sickened by food poisoning every year. That’s one out of every six residents of the United States – a mind-boggling statistic.

The CDC says that there are more than 250 foodborne diseases, most of them infections that are caused by bacteria, viruses, and parasites. Those, however, aren’t the only causes: Toxins and chemicals also can produce a foodborne illness.

Sickened by food poisoning:
foodborne illness symptoms

Symptoms of a foodborne illness, no matter how it’s caused, generally include the following:

  • nausea
  • stomach pain
  • vomiting
  • diarrhea
  • fever.

Most people who develop a foodborne illness have mild cases and recover without needing to see a doctor. However, about 128,000 Americans are hospitalized each year because of food poisoning, and some people can experience long-term effects, including damage to their brain, kidneys, or nerves.

And then there’s this: Approximately 3,000 people will die because of their foodborne illness.

Sickened by food poisoning? You're not alone

Sickened by food poisoning:
high-risk groups

Although anyone can contract a foodborne illness, some groups of people are more likely to develop one:

  • pregnant women
  • children under the age of 5
  • senior citizens
  • anyone with an immune system weakened from medical conditions, such as diabetes, liver disease, kidney disease, organ transplants, HIV/AIDS, or from receiving chemotherapy or radiation treatment.

Sickened by food poisoning:
cleanliness is paramount

Food contamination can anywhere along the food chain – from when and where a food is grown, harvested or produced, to when and where it is shipped and stored, to when and where it is prepared for eating.

To prevent food poisoning at home, start by making sure your hands and all cooking utensils and surfaces are washed well and often. The transfer of harmful organisms from one surface or food to another — called cross-contamination — is often the cause of food poisoning.

Raw foods – such as lettuce and other produce – are especially vulnerable. Since they won’t be cooked, harmful organisms will not be destroyed.

Sickened by food poisoning:
use a thermometer

For food that is cooked, a thermometer should be used to ensure that food reaches an adequate internal temperature to kill germs that could cause food poisoning. Food-safety experts say the following guidelines should be used:

  • ground beef: 160 degrees
  • chicken: 165 degrees
  • steaks, roasts, pork chops: 145 degrees.

Sickened by food poisoning:
government shutdown woes

The partial government shutdown, the longest in United States history, has crippled numerous federal agencies, including the Food and Drug Administration (FDA).

The FDA – which regulates about 75 percent of the U.S. food supply – initially halted routine food inspections. Those are obviously crucial to preventing foodborne illness outbreaks.

“We are in uncharted territory,” FDA commissioner Dr. Scott Gottlieb said. “This is a watershed moment in the life of this agency.”

On Jan. 14, Dr. Gottlieb announced plans to resume “high-risk food inspections” such as cheese, seafood, and infant milk.

“We’ll also do compounding inspections this week, and we started sampling high-risk imported produce in the northeast region today,” Dr. Gottlieg said on Twitter. “We’ll expand our footprint as the week progresses. Our teams are working.”

Sickened by food poisoning:
inspections at a minimum

A spokesperson for the Center for Science in the Public Interest (CSPI) – a consumer watchdog group – said the organization is glad the FDA has resumed some inspections. However, the fact remains: Two-thirds of routine inspections normally done by the FDA still are not being conducted.

That includes inspection of facilities that manufacture processed foods such as peanut butter.

“That concerns us,” Sara Sorscher, CSPI deputy director of regulatory affairs, told Nation’s Restaurant News in a phone interview. “We’ve seen a large number outbreaks in the last year, and we want the FDA to be hard at work.”

Free consultation

Elliot Olsen has decades of experience representing people sickened by food poisoning. You can contact him for a free consultation by filling out the following form and submitting it: