Food recalls do not always happen before contaminated foods cause thousands of hospitalizations nationwide, including in Delaware. According to the Federal government, approximately 128,000 people land in hospitals, and an estimated 3,000 people die from food poisoning each year. A significant percentage of those are victims of food poisoning caused by contaminated food purchased and not self-prepared.
Some consumers have allergies to wheat, soybeans, peanuts, tree nuts, shellfish, eggs or milk. When manufacturers fail to indicate allergens on food labels, they could be held accountable for illness or death caused by allergic reactions.
Viruses and bacteria
Consuming food contaminated by viruses or bacteria causes most cases of food poisoning-related hospitalizations.
Contaminants, molds and toxins
Added chemical toxins or natural toxins cause a low percentage of food-borne illnesses.
Organisms that feed on hosts or other living organisms are called parasites. The most common parasites unknowingly consumed by people are tapeworms, roundworms and protozoa.
The long-term consequences of food poisoning could include nerve and brain damage, chronic arthritis, kidney failure, and even death. People most vulnerable and at the highest risk include young children, older adults, people with compromised immune systems and pregnant women.
The severity of food poisoning symptoms depends on the cause. However, the following are telltale signs after consuming contaminated food:
- Stomach cramps or upset stomach
- Nausea and vomiting
Consumers in Delaware who suffer severe consequences of food-borne illnesses might have grounds to file a product liability or personal injury lawsuit in a civil court. In some cases, contaminated food products are recalled, but the viability of a legal claim does not depend on such action. A successfully presented lawsuit could lead to recovery of financial and other damages.