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Houston E. Coli Lawyer

E. coli, or Escherichia coli, is a type of bacteria commonly found in the intestines of humans and animals. While many strains of E. coli are harmless and play a role in maintaining a healthy intestinal tract, certain strains, such as E. coli O157:H7, can cause severe foodborne illness. Understanding the symptoms and common sources of E. coli is essential for preventing and addressing these infections.

Symptoms of E. coli

The symptoms of an E. coli infection can range from mild to severe and typically appear within 3 to 4 days after exposure. Common symptoms include:

  • Severe Stomach Cramps: Intense abdominal pain that can be debilitating.
  • Diarrhea: Often bloody, accompanied by frequent, loose stools.
  • Vomiting: Nausea and the urge to vomit, which can lead to dehydration.
  • Fever: Usually mild, but can be present in some cases.
  • Fatigue: General feeling of weakness and tiredness.

In severe cases, E. coli infections can lead to hemolytic uremic syndrome (HUS), a serious condition characterized by:

  • Kidney Failure: Potentially life-threatening and may require dialysis.
  • Anemia: Due to the destruction of red blood cells.
  • Low Platelet Count: This leads to issues with clotting and potential for bleeding.

Common Sources of E. coli

E. coli infections are often associated with the consumption of contaminated food or water, but there are multiple sources from which the bacteria can spread:

  • Undercooked Ground Beef: E. coli bacteria can reside in cattle’s intestines and contaminate beef during processing. Thorough cooking is essential to kill the bacteria.
  • Raw Vegetables and Fruits: Contaminated water or soil can transfer E. coli to produce during cultivation. Proper washing of produce is important to reduce risk.
  • Unpasteurized Milk and Dairy Products: Raw milk that has not been pasteurized to kill pathogens can contain harmful bacteria.
  • Contaminated Water: E. coli can enter water supplies through fecal contamination. Drinking or swimming in contaminated water can lead to infection.
  • Person-to-Person Contact: Poor hygiene practices, such as not washing hands after using the restroom, can spread E. coli from person to person, especially in communal environments like daycare centers and nursing homes.
  • Cross-Contamination: If proper sanitation practices are not followed, bacteria can spread from contaminated food to other foods, surfaces, or utensils during food preparation.

Understanding these sources and taking preventive measures can help reduce the risk of E. coli infections. Proper food handling, cooking, and hygiene practices are critical in preventing the spread of this harmful bacterium. If you suspect an E. coli infection, seek medical attention promptly to receive appropriate care and prevent complications.

How Can People Locate the Source of an E. coli Outbreak?

Effective identification of the source of an E. coli outbreak relies on multi-agency collaboration involving local, state, and federal agencies such as the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) and the Food and Drug Administration (FDA). This collaborative approach ensures a coordinated response and efficient resolution of the outbreak, ultimately protecting public health and ensuring food safety.

Initial Steps

The process begins with the detection and reporting of initial cases by healthcare providers, who confirm the presence of E. coli through laboratory testing of stool samples. These confirmed cases are then reported to local or state health departments, which may detect unusual patterns or increases in cases indicating an outbreak.

Collecting Information

Data collection and analysis are critical for identifying the source of an E. coli outbreak. Health officials generate hypotheses based on initial interviews, considering specific foods, water sources, or events, and then use statistical methods to identify patterns or common exposures among cases. Tools like food history questionnaires and traceback methods help pinpoint potential sources. Laboratory testing of food, water, and environmental samples, including genetic testing such as pulsed-field gel electrophoresis (PFGE) or whole genome sequencing (WGS), confirms the presence and genetic identity of E. coli strains. 

Further Investigations

Environmental investigations, including site inspections of food production facilities, restaurants, and farms, assess hygiene practices, water quality, and sanitation procedures. Traceback investigations review the supply chain of suspected contaminated food items, examining records from suppliers, distributors, and producers to identify where contamination may have occurred.

Statistics on E. coli Cases in Houston

Cases of Shiga-toxin-producing E. coli in Texas have gradually increased over the past decade, rising from 351 cases in 2010 to 1,324 cases in 2019. Historically, major outbreaks in Texas have been linked to frozen ready-to-eat foods and refrigerated prepackaged cookie dough.

However, most recently, in February 2024, an E. coli outbreak linked to raw cheddar cheese affected five states, including Texas. 

Types of Compensation Available

Victims of E-Coli infections may be entitled to various types of compensation, including:

  • Medical expenses: Covering the costs of treatment, hospitalization, and ongoing care.
  • Lost wages: Compensation for time missed from work due to illness.
  • Pain and suffering: Damages for the physical pain and emotional distress caused by the infection.
  • Punitive damages: In cases of gross negligence, additional damages may be awarded to punish the responsible party.

Your Legal Rights and Protections

You have the right to safe food and water, and legal protections are in place to hold those who fail to ensure safety accountable. Victims of E-Coli infections have the right to seek compensation and should not hesitate to pursue legal action to protect their interests and prevent future incidents.

Legal Consultation and Case Evaluation

Lawyers can assess the merits of the case to determine if there are grounds for a lawsuit.

They will also explain legal rights and potential courses of action to you.


Lawyers will conduct thorough investigations to trace the source of the E. coli contamination.

They will collect evidence, such as medical records, witness statements, and inspection reports from health authorities.

Liability Determination

An experienced law firm, like The Lange Law Firm, can work to identify all parties that may be liable, including food producers, processors, distributors, and retailers. They will be able to help determine if there was negligence or violation of food safety regulations.

By leveraging their legal expertise, lawyers can help ensure that victims receive the compensation they deserve, hold responsible parties accountable, and contribute to the improvement of food safety standards.

Get in Touch Today

Don’t let an E. coli infection control your life. Reach out to The Lange Law Firm at (833) 330-3663 or message us online to schedule a free consultation. Our team will offer personalized legal advice, address your concerns, and fight for your right to compensation and justice.

Jory Lange: Experienced E. Coli Attorney

E. Coli Lawyer Jory Lange

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