Americans are eating out more often than ever, spending billions of hard-earned dollars on restaurant meals annually. It therefore comes as no surprise that food poisoning cases, too, are becoming more common.
A national chain of Mexican restaurants is now being accused of sickening dozens of people in two states. One of the alleged sufferers has filed a lawsuit against the chain, Chipotle Mexican Grill.
The woman who filed suit claimed that her illness, which she traced to a burrito bowl that she ate at a Washington Chipotle restaurant, required treatment at a local hospital. She seeks at least $75,000 in compensation.
Reports of Bacterial Poisoning
Although the problem, which national media reports have described as an “E. coli outbreak,” has thus far been limited to the Pacific Northwest states of Oregon and Washington, the chain does have several locations in Massachusetts, including one on Iyannough Road in Hyannis. Over the weekend, several dozen locations in Oregon and Washington were reportedly voluntarily shut down for deep-cleaning as health officials continued their investigation.
The Denver-based company, which claims that its use of high-quality raw ingredients and classic cooking techniques marries the worlds of fine dining and quick service, has been in business since 1993. The company also operates the Southeast Asian ShopHouse Kitchen and Pizzeria Locale restaurants.
What Exactly is E. coli?
According to a federal government website, E. coli is a bacteria that lives in the intestines of both humans and animals. Some varieties are harmless, but others can make a person very ill. Bloody diarrhea, kidney failure, and even death can result from exposure to certain strains of E. coli. Some victims of E. coli may require extensive medical treatment, including transfusions and dialysis.
The government website indicates that common sources of E. coli are contaminated food, including undercooked ground beef, raw milk (and cheeses made from raw milk), and raw fruits and vegetables. The incubation period for illness from E. coli can be anywhere from one day to 10 days.
If You Believe You Have Been Exposed to E. coli
As with many illnesses, the basic medical advice is to rest and drink plenty of fluids. Because of the seriousness of the complications that can arise from eating E. coli contaminated foods, it is also advisable to see a doctor if you cannot keep enough fluids down to prevent dehydration, if you have severe abdominal pain, or if you have bloody stools.
Food poisoning victims may be able to file suit to recover compensatory damages from those responsible for their injuries, including the restaurant that served the food, packagers, distributors, and growers. Liability may also arise in cases of salmonella, botulism, and foreign objects in food.
To Speak to a Lawyer About a Negligence Case
If you believe that you or a family member has been hurt because of a restaurant’s negligence or recklessness, whether as a result of food poisoning or another act that may give rise to a premises liability claim, you need to speak to an experienced Massachusetts injury lawyer as soon as possible. To contact the Law Offices of John C. Manoog, III, call us at 888-262-6664 today.
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