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Phoenix Salmonella Attorney

Salmonella is a type of bacteria that can cause illness in humans, typically through the consumption of contaminated food or water. This genus of rod-shaped, gram-negative bacteria includes over 2,500 different serotypes, with the most common ones causing illness in humans being Salmonella enterica and Salmonella bongori. These bacteria can be found in a variety of environments and are often associated with raw or undercooked meat, poultry, eggs, and unpasteurized milk. Contamination can also occur in fruits and vegetables that come into contact with contaminated water or surfaces.

Symptoms of Salmonella Poisoning

Salmonella poisoning, also known as salmonellosis, typically presents with the following symptoms:

  • Diarrhea: Often severe and watery.
  • Abdominal Cramps: Pain and discomfort in the stomach area.
  • Fever: Can range from mild to high.
  • Nausea and Vomiting: Commonly occur alongside diarrhea.
  • Headache: Often accompanies other symptoms.
  • Body Aches: General feeling of weakness and muscle pain.

Symptoms usually appear 6 hours to 6 days after infection and can last 4-7 days. Severe cases may lead to hospitalization due to dehydration or spread of the infection to the bloodstream.

Causes of Salmonella

There are a number of ways a person can get salmonella, and many of these can result in being able to take legal action.

  • Raw or Undercooked Meat: Consuming poultry, beef, or pork that hasn’t been cooked to safe temperatures can lead to Salmonella infection. If the contamination is traced back to improper handling or storage by a supplier or food producer, legal liability may arise.
  • Eggs: Raw or undercooked eggs, or products containing them, can be a source of Salmonella. If a restaurant serves dishes like homemade mayonnaise or Caesar salad dressing made with raw eggs, and patrons become ill, the establishment could face lawsuits.
  • Unpasteurized Dairy Products: Milk and cheese that haven’t undergone pasteurization can harbor Salmonella. Dairy producers or retailers selling these products without proper warnings or following safety regulations could be held accountable.
  • Contaminated Produce: Fruits and vegetables can become contaminated through contact with tainted water or during handling and processing. For instance, outbreaks linked to contaminated leafy greens or tomatoes can result in legal claims against farms or food distributors.
  • Cross-Contamination: Improper kitchen practices, such as using the same cutting board for raw meat and ready-to-eat foods without adequate cleaning, can spread Salmonella. Restaurants and food service establishments can be sued if their negligence leads to an outbreak.
  • Improper Storage: Foods that require refrigeration must be kept at safe temperatures. If a grocery store or restaurant fails to maintain proper storage conditions, leading to bacterial growth and illness, they could face legal consequences.

Phoenix Salmonella Statistics

In 2015, outbreaks of Salmonella spiked in Arizona, with over 30% more cases reported than in 2012. This increase in cases can be linked to two major outbreaks that affected 100 or more people. In July 2015, imported cucumbers caused 152 confirmed cases of Salmonella, and in September 2015, there was an outbreak in an Arizona prison with an estimated 250 staff and inmates affected.

More recently, since the beginning of 2023, Arizona has had three Salmonella outbreaks:

Proving Your Illness Was Caused by Contaminated Food

To establish that your illness was caused by contaminated food, follow these steps:

  • Medical Documentation: Get a diagnosis from a healthcare provider. Laboratory tests on stool samples can confirm the presence of Salmonella bacteria.
  • Trace the Source: Identify the food that caused the illness. This can be done through:
    • Food History: Record everything you ate in the days leading up to your illness.
    • Common Sources: Determine if others who ate the same food are also ill.
    • Epidemiological Link: Health departments often investigate outbreaks and may link your illness to a known source.
  • Evidence Collection: Preserve any leftover food suspected of contamination. Keep receipts and any packaging that can trace the food back to its source.
  • Expert Analysis: Your attorney may work with epidemiologists or other experts to establish a link between the contaminated food and your illness.

Compensation in a Salmonella Poisoning Lawsuit

Compensation in a Salmonella poisoning lawsuit can include:

  • Medical Expenses: Coverage for all related medical costs, including hospitalization, medications, and follow-up treatments.
  • Lost Wages: Compensation for income lost due to inability to work while recovering.
  • Pain and Suffering: Damages for physical pain, emotional distress, and loss of enjoyment of life.
  • Punitive Damages: In cases of gross negligence, additional damages intended to punish the responsible party.
  • Out-of-Pocket Expenses: Reimbursement for expenses such as transportation to medical appointments and the cost of over-the-counter medications.

If you believe you have a case, consulting with an experienced food poisoning attorney can help you navigate the legal process and secure the compensation you deserve.

Get in Touch Today

If you or a loved one has suffered from Salmonella poisoning in Phoenix, seeking the help of an experienced food poisoning attorney is crucial. Contact The Lange Law Firm at (833) 330-3663 or through our online form for your free consultation to discuss your case today.