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Long Beach E. Coli Lawyer

Escherichia coli (E. coli) is a type of bacteria commonly found in the intestines of humans and animals. While most strains of E. coli are harmless and are part of the normal gut flora, some strains can cause severe illness.

Harmful Strains of E. coli

The harmful strains of E. coli are typically referred to as Shiga toxin-producing E. coli (STEC). The most well-known strain in this category is E. coli O157, but there are other strains as well.

Why is E. coli Harmful?

  • Production of Toxins: Harmful strains of E. coli produce toxins, particularly Shiga toxins, which can damage the lining of the intestines.
  • Infection Symptoms: These toxins and the bacteria themselves can cause a range of symptoms, including:
    • Severe stomach cramps
    • Diarrhea (often bloody)
    • Vomiting
    • Fever
  • Hemolytic Uremic Syndrome (HUS): In some cases, particularly in young children and the elderly, an E. coli infection can lead to a severe complication known as Hemolytic Uremic Syndrome (HUS). This condition can cause:
    • Kidney failure
    • Hemolytic anemia (destruction of red blood cells)
    • Thrombocytopenia (low platelet count)
  • Long-term Health Effects: Severe infections and complications like HUS can lead to long-term health issues such as:
    • Chronic kidney disease
    • High blood pressure
    • Neurological problems

How E. coli Spreads

E. coli can spread through:

  • Contaminated Food and Water: Eating undercooked meat, especially ground beef, raw milk, and contaminated fruits and vegetables.
  • Person-to-Person Contact: Through fecal-oral transmission, especially in settings like daycare centers where hygiene practices may be inadequate.
  • Animal Contact: Direct contact with animals or their environments, such as petting zoos.

Prevention Measures

To prevent E. coli infection:

  • Cook Meat Thoroughly: Ensure ground beef and other meats are cooked to a safe internal temperature.
  • Practice Good Hygiene: Wash hands regularly, especially after using the bathroom, changing diapers, or handling raw meat.
  • Avoid Cross-Contamination: Use separate cutting boards and utensils for raw meat and other foods.
  • Wash Fruits and Vegetables: Clean produce thoroughly under running water.
  • Avoid Unpasteurized Products: Consume only pasteurized milk, dairy products, and juices.
  • Ensure Safe Drinking Water: Drink water from safe sources and treat water if necessary.

Understanding these aspects of E. coli can help in both preventing infections and recognizing the symptoms early to seek appropriate medical care.

Who Might Be Legally Liable for an E. coli Outbreak?

Legal liability for an E. coli outbreak can involve multiple parties depending on the source and circumstances of the contamination. Here are the primary entities that might be held legally liable:

Food Producers and Manufacturers

  • Farms and Agricultural Producers: If the contamination originated from produce grown on a farm, the farm may be liable. This includes both traditional and organic farms.
  • Meat Processing Plants: Facilities that slaughter and process animals may be liable if E. coli contamination occurs during processing.
  • Food Manufacturers: Companies that process, package, and distribute food products could be held responsible if their products are contaminated.

Distributors and Suppliers

  • Food Distributors: Companies that transport and store food products might be liable if contamination occurs during transportation or storage due to improper handling or refrigeration.
  • Wholesale Suppliers: Entities that supply food products to retailers or other businesses could be liable if they distributed contaminated products.

Retailers and Food Establishments

  • Grocery Stores and Supermarkets: Retailers selling contaminated products can be held liable if they fail to ensure the safety and quality of the products they sell.
  • Restaurants and Cafeterias: Food establishments might be liable if they serve contaminated food, particularly if proper food handling, cooking, or storage procedures were not followed.

Long Beach E. coli Statistics

In Long Beach, the incidence rate per 100,000 people for E. coli cases was 0.9 in 2014; by 2018, it had increased to 6.6. However, the incidence rate decreased again in 2019 (6.0) and 2020 (3.2).

The spike in cases in 2018 could be related to two E. coli outbreaks linked to romaine lettuce that impacted California. Romaine lettuce A was the largest outbreak, affecting 210 people across 36 states, with 49 individuals from California. Romaine lettuce B was smaller, with 16 states affected, 62 reported cases, and 12 of those in California.

More recently, multistate E. coli outbreaks that affected California were linked to organic walnuts and raw cheddar cheese.

Start Your Claim

Don’t hesitate, call The Lange Law Firm at (833) 330-3663 or message us online today for a free consultation. Our team of experts will investigate your E. coli case, identify liable parties, and ensure you get the compensation you deserve.