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FOOD POISONING OR JUST THE FLU?

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So you have diarrhea, blurred or double vision, muscle weakness, nausea, fatigue, dizziness, and headache. Is it the flu, or was it something you ate? A steady, intense pain that becomes more intense can be appendicitis, which can be mistaken for food poisoning.

So how do you know? Food poisoning is difficult to diagnose. It takes time to send a stool sample to a laboratory and get the results back. It is about a 24 hour process after visiting your doctor, which is about how long it takes to recover from many forms of food poisoning. By the time results come back, most people are nearly back to normal.

If several people, who ate the same thing, become sick, food poisoning should be considered. Dehydration is one of the most troubling problems associated with food poisoning and the severe diarrhea that follows. If you experience a fast heart beat, feeling faint, low blood pressure and a lack of urine output, you should be seen by your doctor. If you suspect that you have become sick after eating at a restaurant you should notify your county health department. For our county it is the Orange County Health Department.

Dr. David Crane, an emergency room physician at Carroll Hospital Center, http://www.ccgh.com/content/ , in Westminster, MD, said that many illnesses that cause diarrhea, fever, cramping can be transmitted by food-borne pathogens, with the most commonly reported being salmonella.

According to the National Institute of Diabetes and Digestive and Kidney Diseases over 76 million people get sick from contaminated food in the United States each year. Harmful bacteria are the most commons causes of food poisoning and while most food we purchase contains some bacteria, raw meat can become contaminated during the slaughtering process. Fruits and vegetables can become contaminated during growing or when processed. Most foods left out at room temperature for more than two hours can spoil.

According to the Center for Decease Control, the types of foods that are most likely to be contaminated and cause food poisoning are raw meat and animal byproducts such as milk and eggs.

If you think you have contracted food poisoning and want to be prepared for making a claim, one of the best things you can do is get an analysis of your stool. The lab results are your best evidence of what you were suffering from. Without lab results, it is difficult to prove that you even had food poisoning or the possible sources.

Another must, keep a portion of the food that you ate. With clean hands and implements, seal the food sample in a new plastic bag. This is your evidence.

It is important to report your illness to the local health department. They will usually do an inspection. Many times, after a report to the health department, their inspection has found Health & Safety code violations that are connected with the food poisoning incident.

Also, check with the other people you ate with to see if anyone else in your dinning party became ill.

If you or a loved one have suffered food poisoning and want to make a claim, please contact me, John Bisnar of Bisnar Chase Personal Injury Attorneys for your free and confidential consultation. 800-259-6373.

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