Chapter 15 : Food Poisoning Cases

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This chapter focuses on food poisoning cases that are very common. Many of them are cases in which the plaintiff has fallen ill after eating a meal in a particular restaurant. Risk factors of restaurant-associated food-borne disease include inadequate cooking, improper holding temperatures, mishandling of food, and general lack of hygiene during food preparation leading to food poisoning. This chapter provides an example of how one of the restaurants receiving meat and chicken from a particular distributor was the source of an extensive outbreak of salmonella gastroenteritis the year before the plaintiff became ill. Epidemiologic evidence indicated that food-handling activities associated with employee error, lack of training, and lack of management oversight contributed to this outbreak. The nineteen to twenty hours that elapsed between the plaintiff’s consumption of food at the fast food restaurant and the appearance of symptoms is consistent with the incubation period of salmonella gastroenteritis. The incubation period is an important clue to the cause of gastroenteritis. Other common causes of acute gastroenteritis include (commonly associated with eggs and poultry), Campylobacter (undercooked poultry), (contaminated food or water), and (undercooked beef, contaminated milk, and juice). Noninfectious causes of acute gastrointestinal illness include fish poisoning and the ingestion of toxic chemicals. Neither of the two types of fish poisoning are associated with swordfish.

Citation: Ellner P. 2006. Food Poisoning Cases, p 83-91. In The Biomedical Scientist as Expert Witness. ASM Press, Washington, DC. doi: 10.1128/9781555816520.ch15
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