Florida leads the nation in something besides College Football and Basketball, the state also has more people get sick eating out than any other state. Food poisoning is a major cause of illness in this country. The main culprits, you guessed it: seafood, ethnic food and the ubiquitous “all you can eat buffet.”
This is not just a little throw up and diarrhea problem. People die and get terminal disease from this bad food. In fact the Center for Disease Control estimates that 5,000 people die from food borne illnesses each year. Yep, that is in the thousands. Hepatitis, E. Coli and salmonella can all be contracted from eating out and they can kill or cause life long problems. Our firm has prosecuted death and injury cases related to hepatitis, E. Coli and other serious injuries caused by eating out. And some of these places were famous, national chains and we are not just talking fast food. Take E. Coli for example. over 300 Floridians got sick from bacteria like E.Coli. Outbreaks often occur from one night of service at a restaurant. In Orlando we had an outbreak of food contamination that left a score of innocent diners with hepatitis A.
An outbreak (defined as 2 or more patrons that get sick from the same items or same place) can result from the failure to do simple tasks like hand washing, proper food storage and failure to cook food correctly. Restaurants, especially the big chains, corporate restaurants and theme parks will fight these claims vociferously. It is never their fault even when a dozen diners get sick on the same day from the same food.
If you get sick from eating out get to a hospital ASAP. It may be a few day illness or it may be deadly. Call the CDC at 1-800-311-3435. In Florida, contact the Florida Department of Business and Professional Regulation at 850-4871395 to report an outbreak. It may not be just you and others could be lot sicker or die from the same food borne illness and contamination. Your report will help to link the illness to the correct source and keep the dirty restaurant from shifting the blame. Also call us. We have pending cases now of diseases contracted from eating out in Florida. Many times we can use both negligence and product liability theories to successfully pursue the case.
For more information on this subject matter, please refer to the section on Defective and Dangerous Products.