One of the best things about living in the Chicago area is the wide choice of restaurants and eateries. There is literally something for everyone. However, not every place is a four-star dining experience. Some are not even one-star. Frequent inspections uncover health violations all the time and, in some cases, patrons go home with cases of food poisoning caused by unclean conditions.
Many times, it is difficult to trace the source of food poisoning, especially if the food did not make you sick immediately or if you did not see a problem with your food at the time. Of course, some see a concern right away (the story of the deep fried mouse may come to mind). However, sometimes the issue can be traced directly back to a sanitary problem at the restaurant.
How unsanitary are our restaurants?
As a consumer, you have the right to have your food prepared in clean, sanitary conditions. Chicago, for example, keeps a database of food establishments with dates of inspections, results, and descriptions on a public website. You can keep up to date on the health inspections of any place that serves or sells food on this site.
Examples of things that may cause an establishment to fail inspection include:
- Improperly stored waste
- Rodent droppings
- Unclean cutting boards
- Unsanitized washcloths
- Food stored at improper temperatures
- Pest or rodent activity
However, government inspections cannot prevent one-time accidents, mishaps, or human error.
If you do get sick after eating at a local restaurant—or find something in your food that is definitely not supposed to be there—you could have a premises liability claim.
What is food poisoning?
Foodborne illnesses are not like having the flu or a cold. Food poisoning happens when you ingest food contaminated with bacteria or a virus. In restaurants, the contamination typically happens from:
- Prep with unclean utensils or hands
- Undercooked meat
- Raw fruits, fish, or oysters
- Foods stored at improper temperatures
Usually you will begin to feel ill two to six hours after eating, with headache, nausea, fever, and vomiting. As stated earlier, food poisoning can sometimes be difficult to trace because you may not know exactly what made you sick or when it happened. The best way to discover if it was food poisoning is to find out if others were also sickened by the same food. You can even report food poisoning incidents to the Department of Public Health for further investigation.
If you suffered injury from a foodborne illness and think you can trace the cause, talk to our Chicago liability attorneys at Gainsberg Law, P.C. We can help you uncover the truth and protect your rights. For help with your case, please call us at 312-313-1621 or complete our contact form.