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Posted by: OFT Food Safety & Injury Lawyers

Food poisoning is a broad term. Although many different foodborne illnesses can cause similar symptoms, there are different causes. It’s easy to understand why there are misconceptions about food poisoning.

These misunderstandings can have devastating consequences if someone ignores medical advice because of a myth or misconception. Learn more about food poisoning myths, and why you should call a food poisoning lawyer to ask about a personal injury claim.

Food Poisoning Defined: Understanding the Basics

Food poisoning, or foodborne illness, occurs when food contaminated with harmful bacteria, viruses, parasites, or toxins is consumed.

Symptoms can range from mild gastrointestinal discomfort to severe, life-threatening conditions. These illnesses can affect anyone and stem from various sources, including improper food handling, poor hygiene, and contaminated food processing environments.

Understanding these basics helps in recognizing the importance of food safety and legal standards.

Examples of Foodborne Illnesses

There are a wide variety of foodborne illnesses, like:

Myths Surrounding Food Poisoning

Recognizing food poisoning and debunking claims can help protect your health and safety. These illnesses can range from mild to severe, and you could be entitled to compensation if someone’s negligence leads to your illness.

Myth 1: Food Poisoning is Only Caused by Eating Out

Contrary to popular belief, food poisoning can occur anywhere along the supply chain. From farms to your dining table, contaminated produce or improper food handling at home could be where your case starts. Checking your food before cooking or eating can reduce the risk of illness.

Myth 2: Only Certain Foods Can Cause Food Poisoning

While it’s true that raw meats and unpasteurized dairy are high-risk foods, any food can harbor pathogens if mishandled. Vegetables and fruits can also be culprits, especially when washed or stored improperly.

Myth 3: Food Poisoning is Just a Mild Inconvenience

Foodborne illnesses can lead to severe health complications, including dehydration, kidney failure, and even death. Legally, severe cases can lead to substantial settlements, especially if long-term health issues are involved.

Myth 4: Food That Looks and Smells Fine is Safe to Eat

Many foodborne pathogens are stealthy; they do not alter the food’s appearance, smell, or taste. Always practice safe food handling and thorough cooking to minimize risks.

Myth 5: Once You’ve Had Food Poisoning, You’re Immune

Immunity to foodborne pathogens is not a guarantee. The body’s response can vary, and different strains or recontamination can still pose a threat.

Myth 6: Food Poisoning Symptoms Always Appear Immediately

Symptoms can appear several hours to weeks after ingestion, depending on the pathogen. This variability often complicates pinpointing the offending meal, which is crucial in legal cases related to food poisoning.

Myth 7: All Food Poisoning Cases are Isolated Incidents

Outbreaks of foodborne illnesses are often widespread and can be traced back to a single source. Public health investigations play a crucial role in identifying these outbreaks, supporting legal actions against negligent parties.

Myth 8: Reheating Food Kills All Bacteria Making It Safe

Reheating can kill bacteria but not all toxins produced by them are neutralizable by heat. Proper storage and handling before the first and subsequent heatings are essential to prevent foodborne illnesses.

Myth 9: Food Poisoning is Always Due to the Last Meal Eaten

Identifying the source of food poisoning is challenging due to the various incubation periods of pathogens. This myth can delay the reporting and hinder legal processes, as the actual source may be overlooked.

Should I File a Food Poisoning Claim?

If your foodborne illness was caused by someone’s negligent behavior, you should strongly consider a food poisoning personal injury claim. Severe cases of food poisoning require extensive medical care, and those bills can add up.

Food poisoning is often more than a cramping stomach. Some symptoms can leave you bedridden and dehydrated, meaning you can’t work. Meanwhile, your bills will continue to mount. A personal injury case is one of the best ways to hold the liable parties accountable while ensuring you’re made financially whole.

What Compensation is Available in a Food Poisoning Lawsuit?

Food poisoning personal injury claims are designed to help victims recover financial compensation. You can pursue economic and non-economic damages, which can include:

  • Past, present, and future medical bills
  • Lost income
  • Any out-of-pocket expenses
  • Past and future pain and suffering

In general, food poisoning lawsuits resemble other product liability claims where a manufacturer is responsible for putting a defective product in the hands of a customer. You and your attorney must prove the product was dangerous when used as intended.

Why Should I Hire a Food Poisoning Lawyer?

Like other personal injury claims, a food poisoning lawsuit is complex. There could be several parties at fault for your foodborne illness. A lawyer can ensure each liable party is identified.

Your claim will be built on evidence. Your attorney will be critical to investigating your illness and building your case to prove that you had food poisoning.

Throughout this process, the victim’s legal team will work to prove negligence or breach of duty by the defendant, such as failing to meet health and safety standards. Establishing this link between the consumed food and the illness is the cornerstone of any successful food poisoning claim.

Hiring the right food poisoning lawyers is crucial to the success of your claim.

OFT Food Safety & Injury Lawyers Will Answer Your Questions

Above all else, you need to find an attorney who will answer your questions and debunk food poisoning myths. When you call OFT Food Safety & Injury Lawyers, we will sit down with you and help you understand what to expect. We will guide your claim and make you feel more secure.

Call us today at 888-828-7087 or use our online form to schedule your consultation.

Notable Recoveries

$10 million

Seven infants were sickened after consuming a contaminated food product marketed to infants

$6.5 million

Verdict on behalf of a little boy who contracted a severe Salmonella infection from chicken

$7.55 million

Verdict on behalf of a little girl who contracted E. coli at a petting zoo

$2.25 million

E. coli infections contracted from a major fast food chain

$45 million

An over-the-counter medication caused severe kidney damage to multiple users

$3.4 million

A pregnant woman contracted a Listeria infection from contaminated fruit and passed the infection to her child

$3 million

Multistate Cyclospora outbreaks


A couple contracted Salmonella from a restaurant


A pedestrian was struck by a left-turning car, fracturing her tibia


A semi-truck rear-ended a motorcyclist causing a collapsed lung, rib fractures and road rash