Who Can Be Held Responsible for Foodborne Illness?

An image of bacteria Approximately a dozen students fell ill at a Georgia middle school when they ate candy that turned out to be contaminated. Authorities were initially concerned that the candy had been infused with THC or some other drug, after an incident in Fulton County earlier this year. However, testing determined that the candy was simply contaminated. While only one child was hospitalized, no one else suffered any serious harm as a result of the illness. Investigators believe that the candy may have been contaminated at the Hampton food bank where it came from. 

While most foodborne illnesses result in some temporary illnesses, some cases can cause serious health issues and even death. If you’ve suffered serious harm as a result of foodborne illness, the personal injury attorneys at Slappey & Sadd can help. Call us at 404-255-6677 or contact us online to schedule a free consultation and case evaluation. We’ll discuss whether you may be entitled to compensation and how we can help. 

Common Foodborne Germs

Foodborne illness is the result of germs in food that is ingested by the victim. According to the CDC, the top 5 common foodborne germs are

  • Norovirus
  • Salmonella
  • Clostridium perfringens
  • Campylobacter
  • Staphylococcus aureus

These germs rarely result in severe illness. However, other common germs that are likely to result in hospitalization include: 

  • Clostridium botulinum (botulism)
  • Listeria
  • E. coli
  • Vibrio

These germs can result in serious illness and even death. 

Who Is At Risk

Everyone is at risk of contracting a foodborne illness, but some groups are more susceptible:

  • Young children (younger than 5)
  • The elderly (65 or older)
  • Pregnant women
  • People with compromised immune systems

The people in these groups are more likely to contract a foodborne illness and are also more likely to suffer more severe illness than other people. 

Who is at Fault?

In cases where someone has suffered serious issues or even died, the question immediately becomes who is at fault. Because food is sold and distributed through a complicated network of commercial entities, it can be difficult to determine who is responsible. You need to first consider what food made you ill, which may be determined according to what illness you are suffering from. As a result, the first step is to seek medical treatment if you are suffering symptoms of foodborne illness. 

Here are some potential culprits in foodborne illness cases: 

  • Restaurants: the food may not have been properly handled or undercooked
  • Distributors: the food may not have been stored appropriately
  • Producers: the food may have been exposed to contaminants, such as fecal matter or mold

There are many potential ways that germs can be introduced into the food that we consume, but understanding the potential sources of these germs can help identify what caused your illness and the treatment you need.

Suffering from Severe Foodborne Illness? Contact Slappey & Sadd

Thankfully, most foodborne illnesses run their course in a day or two. However, if you’ve developed serious health issues as a result of foodborne illness, the Atlanta personal injury attorneys at Slappey & Sadd can help. Call us at 404-255-6677 or fill out our online contact form to schedule a free consultation to discuss how we can help you.