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San Jose E. Coli Lawyer

E. coli (Escherichia coli) is a bacterium found in the intestines of humans and animals. While the majority of E. coli strains are harmless and support digestive health, some can cause serious health issues. Pathogenic strains like E. coli O157:H7 can cause foodborne illness, leading to symptoms such as severe abdominal pain, diarrhea, and vomiting. Infections often result from consuming contaminated food or water, making hygiene and food safety crucial.

Symptoms of E. coli

To determine if someone has been infected with E. coli, look for symptoms like severe stomach cramps and frequent episodes of diarrhea, which may be bloody. Nausea and vomiting are also common. These symptoms typically appear 1-10 days after exposure, often around the third or fourth day. A definitive diagnosis can be made through medical tests, such as a stool culture, which can detect the presence of E. coli bacteria.

Common Sources and Causes of E. coli Infections

  • Undercooked Ground Beef: One of the most common sources of E. coli. Bacteria from cattle intestines can contaminate beef during slaughter. Thorough cooking is essential to kill the bacteria.
  • Unpasteurized Milk and Dairy Products: E. coli can be present in raw milk from infected cows. Pasteurization kills the bacteria, making dairy products safe to consume.
  • Fresh Produce: Leafy greens (such as spinach, lettuce, and sprouts) can be contaminated through contact with fecal matter in soil or water used during growing, harvesting, or processing. Washing produce can reduce but not eliminate the risk.
  • Unpasteurized Juices and Ciders: Fresh juices made from fruits or vegetables can harbor E. coli if not properly pasteurized.
  • Contaminated Water: Drinking or using water from contaminated sources, such as wells or lakes, can lead to infection. This can happen in areas with inadequate sanitation or during recreational activities.

Preventing E. coli

People can take steps to try to prevent themselves from getting infected with E. coli bacteria, including:

  • Avoid preparing food when ill.
  • Avoid unpasteurized dairy.
  • Cook meat to safe temperatures.
  • Drink treated water.
  • Handwash with soap.
  • Practice good pet hygiene.
  • Regularly clean kitchen surfaces.
  • Rinse all produce.
  • Store food properly.
  • Use separate boards for raw and cooked items.

Legal Scenarios

If a person becomes infected with E. coli, they may have grounds for various legal cases, often centered on negligence, product liability, or breach of duty. Here are some potential legal cases:

  • Agricultural Negligence: If the source of the contamination is traced back to a farm or agricultural producer due to unsanitary practices or contaminated water, there may be grounds for a lawsuit based on negligence or strict liability.
  • Failure to Warn: If a company knew or should have known about the risk of E. coli contamination and failed to warn consumers, a legal case for failure to warn could be pursued. This includes situations where a recall was not adequately communicated.
  • Negligence by Food Establishments: If the infection resulted from eating at a restaurant or food establishment where improper food handling, storage, or preparation occurred, the person might have a case for negligence. This involves demonstrating that the establishment did not meet the expected standard of care in food preparation.
  • Product Liability: If the E. coli infection is traced to contaminated food, the person might have a case against the manufacturer, distributor, or retailer. The person must prove that the food product was defective and caused the illness.

San Jose Facts About E. coli

From 2013 through 2019, there were 49 E. coli outbreaks throughout California, affecting 664 people. The largest outbreak in California was at a Marine Corps Recruit Depot in San Diego in 2017, involving both O157 and O26 E. coli infections.

California has been impacted by some notable multistate E. coli outbreaks:

  • General Mills Flour E. coli O121 and O26 infections in 2016, 63 cases in the US and 3 from California.
  • I.M. Healthy brand SoyNut Butter E.coli O157 infection in 2017, 32 cases nationwide and 5 from California.
  • Romaine lettuce E.coli O157 infection in 2018, with 210 cases across the US and 49 illnesses recorded in California.
  • Romaine lettuce E.coli O157 infection in 2019, 167 nationwide cases and 8 from California.

Call Us Today

The Lange Law Firm is here for E. coli victims. Call (833) 330-3663 or message us online today to arrange your free consultation. We will work diligently to build a strong case, seek justice, and obtain the compensation you deserve for your injuries and losses.