Even in the United States, where there is stringent government oversight of the food industry and a web of strict health codes, food-borne illness, often called “food poisoning”, is still a widespread problem. According to the U.S. Food and Drug Administration, there are an estimated 48 million cases of food-borne illness every year in America. This means that about one in every six Americans becomes ill due to tainted food annually.
Sometimes food-borne illness is thought of as a relatively minor issue or an inconvenience. But some food-borne illnesses can be quite serious. The FDA estimates that 128,000 hospitalizations and 3,000 deaths are caused by food-borne illnesses each year.
If you are harmed by a food-borne illness, or if you tragically lost a loved one to a food-borne illness, you may be entitled to compensation. Under California law, food is considered a product when making determinations of liability. This can be advantageous to consumers seeking to recover compensation for a food-borne illness, because strict liability may apply in product liability cases. This means there may be no need to prove specifically when and how the food became adulterated with a harmful pathogen.
Food-borne illness is not just an inconvenience. On the contrary, it can be a serious issue that results in hospitalization or even death. Food-borne illnesses can have many symptoms, including vomiting, fatigue, muscle and body aches, fever, loss of appetite, weight loss, and stomach cramps. If you suffered any of these symptoms to a severe degree and suspect that food-borne illness may have been to blame, you might have a viable legal claim for compensation.