People in Virginia probably do not think about getting a foodborne illness when they enjoy a favorite restaurant meal. However, a foodborne illness can easily be transmitted to people when they eat contaminated food. Biological food contaminants include bacteria, viruses and fungi. Bones, glass, metal and chemicals can also contaminate food.
The Centers for Disease Control indicates that 48 million individuals develop a foodborne illness each year, and 128,000 of those people end up in the hospital. The CDC estimates that 3,000 people die from foodborne illness annually.
How food handlers contaminate food
Food handlers in Virginia can contaminate food in different ways. Food handlers who go to the restroom and fail to wash their hands can transmit fecal contaminants to food. As a result, viruses such as Hepatitis A and norovirus can contaminate the food. When a customer eats that food, they can become ill and may require medical treatment.
Failing to cook food properly is another way food becomes unsafe to eat. E. Coli, a bacterium associated with ground beef, can make people sick if present in undercooked ground beef. Physical contaminants like glass or bone fragments can cause broken teeth, mouth injuries and internal injuries. When food handlers store or use chemicals near food, accidental contamination can occur. Substances that get into drinks or food can burn the mouth and digestive tract.
Foodborne illness can have lasting effects
Individuals who survive foodborne illness can experience debilitating health issues or injuries. For example, E. Coli can cause Hemolytic Uremic Syndrome, a life-threatening condition leading to kidney failure.
No one should have to suffer because of careless food handling. A personal injury attorney may be able to determine if you should seek compensation for illness or injury due to consuming contaminated food.