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What to Do if You Become Sick from Poppy Seeds

Posted in Poppy Seed on October 11, 2023

If you suspect you have become sick from consuming poppy seeds, it is imperative to know what to do. The poppy seed lawyers at The Lange Law Firm emphasize the importance of consulting someone for your health and also for any potential legal claim you may have.

Steps To Take

1. Seek Immediate Medical Attention

It is imperative to seek immediate medical attention. Doing so is not only crucial for your health but also for any potential legal claims you may have. Some individuals may be more sensitive to the opium alkaloids in poppy seeds than others. This can result in a range of symptoms, including nausea, vomiting, dizziness, and even difficulty breathing in severe cases.

2. Document Your Symptoms

Take careful note of all symptoms you experience and include details like the onset, severity, and duration of symptoms. Documenting this information can be invaluable evidence.

3. Preserve Evidence

If possible, keep a sample of the poppy seeds or any remaining food containing them. It could be vital evidence if there is a need for further investigation or legal action. Additionally, keep any receipts or packaging that can serve as proof of purchase.

4. Report the Incident

Notify your local health department or the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA). Reporting it can help prevent harm to others and further cases of contamination. Public health officials will likely conduct an investigation.

5. Document All Expenses and Losses

Keep detailed records of all medical expenses, including doctor’s visits, medications, and any other treatments related to the illness caused by the poppy seeds. Additionally, document any lost wages or other financial losses incurred.

6. Consult a Lawyer

It is highly advisable to contact a poppy seed lawyer with extensive experience in cases related to contaminated or adulterated food products. They will know how to navigate the legal complexities and can advise you on the best course of action.

What Are the Potential Dangers of Poppy Seeds?

Poppy seeds can sometimes be contaminated with opium alkaloids, which are natural compounds found in the opium poppy plant. These alkaloids, including morphine and codeine, can be present in trace amounts on the surface of the seeds. However, the levels of opium alkaloid contamination in poppy seeds can vary widely depending on factors such as growing conditions, processing methods, and storage. Some manufacturers even sell unwashed poppy seeds on purpose to preserve the narcotic compounds. Consuming poppy seeds with high levels of these alkaloids can lead to potentially severe health issues or even death.

Can You Sue if You Become Sick From Poppy Seeds?

If you have consumed poppy seeds with excessive levels of opium alkaloids and subsequently suffered harm, you can pursue legal action. The manufacturer, distributor, or retailer may potentially be liable. This type of lawsuit falls under product liability law. Plaintiffs (victims) may argue that the poppy seeds were defective, unreasonably dangerous, or lacked adequate warnings or instructions.

To succeed, you will typically must establish a causal link between consuming the contaminated poppy seeds and the harm you suffered. If successful, you can recover significant compensation for your current and future medical expenses, current and future lost wages, pain and suffering, and other related costs.