LEGAL MATTERS: Think You Were Food Poisoned? Here’s What To Do.

Wednesday, September 18, 2013


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Think you're the victim of food poisoning? Take proper measures before it's too late.

The national recall of some Chobani Greek yogurt products has put the issue of food poisoning back in the news. If you are food poisoned, getting medical treatment should be your number one priority. If you think someone else’s negligence made you sickness, you should also keep these things in mind - they may help you get compensation for your injuries and they may help keep other people from getting sick.

Save the food you think made you sick.

If you end up in a lawsuit, the food may need to be tested. The basic tests for a food poisoning case cost less than $200.

Have your doctor order a stool sample test.

If a foodborne pathogen made you sick, it will usually show up in your stool as it leaves your body.

Report your illness to public health authorities.

In Rhode Island, contact the Department of Health at (401) 272-5952. In Massachusetts, contact the Department of Health and Human Services at (617) 983-6712. You can also contact the Food and Drug Administration at 1-888-463-6332.

Consult an attorney.

Food poising is a serious problem - two years ago, two people died and dozens were hospitalized after eating salmonella-tainted zeppoles from a Rhode Island bakery – so you should talk to a lawyer if you are one of its victims.

For more information on food poisoning, and when to see a doctor, check out this New York Times article or this Mayo Clinic web site.

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John Longo is a consumer rights attorney practicing law in Rhode Island and Massachusetts. He represents consumers who have disputes with businesses, employees cheated out of their wages or overtime, car buyers stuck with Lemons, and people in need of bankruptcy protection. He is a member of the National Association of Consumer Advocates, the National Association of Consumer Bankruptcy Attorneys, and the Rhode Island Association for Justice.


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