When consumers visit their favorite restaurants, one of the last things on their mind is becoming ill - despite the repeated horror stories that have sullied the food industry lately.
Catching a foodborne illness can be more serious than you think. In many cases, food poisoning may result in a short bout of stomach cramping, vomiting, and diarrhea, but in some case it can lead to a more severe illness and even life-threatening complications.
The most serious foodborne illnesses to watch out for
According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), foodborne illnesses are caused by consuming food contaminated with bacteria, viruses, parasites, toxins, and harmful chemicals. Pregnant women, young children, elderly adults, and people with weakened immune systems are the most at risk of catching foodborne illnesses.
Common foodborne illnesses such as norovirus and salmonella rarely cause any serious complications and go away within a few days. More severe foodborne illnesses can cause a trip to the hospital and life-threatening conditions. These include:
The root of the problem
According to Food Safety News (FSN), roughly 50-60 percent of restaurants across the United States lack safeguards to protect the public from foodborne illnesses. The standard procedure involves a daily checklist that many food industry workers deem repetitive.
Unfortunately, little oversight exists in many restaurants and those responsible for ensuring that food is safe to consume can claim they've done the work without actually proving it. Employees and managers often skip daily inspections because they are either too busy juggling other tasks or find it too tedious to bother with.
Additionally, some employees cut corners when it comes to safe food preparation. Many of those who work in the food industry are young, inexperienced, and may not fully understand the importance of sanitary food handling. They may:
- Fail to wash their hands after using the restroom or taking out trash
- Chop vegetables on a cutting board that had prior contact with raw poultry
- Use a filthy rag to wipe down tables or trays
Restaurant failed to ensure food safety? It's time to take action!
Consumers should be able to trust that the restaurants they visit are sanitary. Far too many food poisoning cases show that those in the food industry are lagging behind. Luckily, consumers in Orange County can search a local food facility inspection database to find records. Safety inspection records are available in .pdf format for up to two years.
Not all foodborne illnesses are attributed to poor inspection practices. All it takes is the carelessness of one employee or manager to put the health of restaurant patrons in jeopardy.
If you or a loved one suffered a severe illness because a restaurant failed to ensure food safety, it is crucial that your rights are upheld. Personal injury lawyer Daniel C. Carlton and his legal team handles all types of restaurant injuries, including those caused by food poisoning. Contact us today to discuss your matter and weigh your legal options.