STAPHYLOCOCCAL FOOD POISONING


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Staphylococcal food poisoning results from eating food contaminated with toxins produced by certain types of staphylococci, resulting in diarrhea and vomiting. This disorder can be caused by toxins produced by Staphylococcus aureus bacteria.

Staphylococcus can cause food poisoning when a food handler contaminates food and then the food is not properly refrigerated. Other sources of food contamination include the equipment and surfaces on which food is prepared. These bacteria multiply quickly at room temperature to produce a toxin that causes illness. Staphylococcus is killed by cooking and pasteurization.

People who carry Staph can contaminate food if they don’t wash their hands before touching it. Staph can also be found in unpasteurized milk and cheese products. Because Staph is salt tolerant, it can grow in salty foods like ham. As it multiplies in food, Staph produces toxins.

Although Staph bacteria are easily killed by cooking, the toxins are resistant to heat and so cannot be destroyed by cooking. Foods at highest risk of transmitting Staph toxins are those that people handle and remain uncooked. Food contaminated with Staph toxin may not smell bad or look spoiled.

Joe Lyon is a highly-rated Ohio personal injury attorney with experience in injuries due to food poisoning. The Lyon Firm has represented plaintiffs nationwide in foodborne illness claims.


Sources of Staphylococcus Food Poisoning


Staphylococci bacteria grow in food and subsequently produce toxins. Staphylococcal food poisoning does not result from ingesting the bacteria but rather from ingesting the toxins made by the bacteria that are present in the contaminated food.

The risk of an outbreak increases when food handlers with skin infections contaminate foods that are undercooked or left at room temperature. Foods that are particularly susceptible are those made with hand contact and require no additional cooking, including:

  • Sandwiches
  • Egg salad
  • Tuna salad
  • Chicken salad
  • Potato salad
  • Macaroni salad
  • Custard and puddings
  • Sliced processed meats
  • Unpasteurized milk and cheese products
  • Bakery products: cream-filled pastries, cream pies, and chocolate éclairs
  • Meat, poultry, eggs, and related products
    To help prevent the spread of illness and disease, some basic sanitary guidelines to follow include:
  • Washing hands vigorously with soap and water before handling and preparing foods
  • Refraining from preparing food when you have a nose or eye infection
  • Refraining from handling or serving food when you have wounds or skin infections on hands or wrists
  • Keeping kitchens and food-serving areas clean and sanitized
  • Keeping hot foods hot (over 140° F) and cold foods cold (40° F or less)
  • Storing cooked food in a wide, shallow container
  • Refrigerating foods as soon as possible

Signs & Symptoms of Staphylococcal Food Poisoning


Symptoms usually begin suddenly with severe nausea and vomiting presenting about 2 to 8 hours after a contaminated food is eaten. Other symptoms may include:

  • Abdominal pain
  • Diarrhea
  • Headache
  • Fever
  • Fatigue
  • Loss of appetite
  • Vomiting
  • Nausea

Severe fluid and electrolyte loss may cause weakness and very low blood pressure. Symptoms usually last from 12 hours to a couple days and recovery is usually complete.

A diagnosis is usually is based on a patient’s symptoms. A specific diagnosis of staphylococcal food poisoning may be suspected when other people who ate the same food are similarly affected and the illness can be traced to a single source of contamination.

To confirm a diagnosis, a laboratory must identify staphylococci in the suspected food. Treatment usually involves drinking plenty of fluids. Occasionally, staphylococcal food poisoning can be fatal in young children, elderly and people weakened by long-term illness.

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Why are these cases important?

Serious injuries and accidents often result through no fault of the injured party, yet the injured victim suffers from life altering physical, mental and financial losses. Such economic and human losses can have devastating financial consequences on individuals and families if not properly compensated. Tort law allows those individuals to seek just legal recourse through personal injury lawsuits.

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Questions about Personal Injury Cases

What is a Personal Injury Lawsuit?

Any kind of negligence by an individual or company that causes injury or harm can lead to filing a personal injury lawsuit. The amount a plaintiff is entitled to depends on several factors, particularly how egregious the act and how serious the injury.

Personal injury attorneys generally only will take cases on a confidential and contingency fee basis, which means your lawyer will only get paid if he or she is able to reach a settlement or positive verdict. The Lyon Firm will review your case for free and assess what compensation any plaintiff can expect through litigation.

Personal Injury cases can range from minor auto accidents to complex lawsuits filed against large corporations. The Lyon Firm has handled both with equal care. Severe injury requires legal action on occasion, no matter if the injury is the result of a vehicle accident, a dog bite, a boating accident, workplace injury, defective consumer products, medical malpractice, or toxic exposure.

What is the Process?

Pre-Suit Investigation and Negotiations: Personal injury lawsuits are unique and require a thorough investigation before a lawsuit is filed. An initial investigation involves gathering all relevant medical records, accident reports, and interviews with available witnesses.  Preservation letters are drafted to notify the defendant of the case. The duty to preserve electronic evidence is critical in most cases to prevent spoliation.

Filing a Lawsuit in Cincinnati: If pre-suit negotiations are unsuccessful, then a lawsuit must be filed to preserve the statute of limitations.  Filing a lawsuit early in the process is often necessary to begin gathering evidence while the witnesses memories are fresh and documents remain available.

Once suit is filed by your personal injury lawyer, the court will set a case management schedule and the parties will begin exchanging information in the formal process of discovery. Depositions will be taken to preserve testimony for trial and to understand what certain witnesses are likely to say at trial.

Proving Negligence, Causation and Damages: In addition to lay witness testimony and other documentary evidence, personal injury claims rely upon medical and scientific evidence to prove negligence, causation and damages. The chosen expert in a case must have a reliable and sound basis in science and in the facts of the case or his opinion may not be admissible under the rules of evidence.

In the areas of Toxic and Environmental Torts, the admission of expert testimony may be scrutinized harder than in other areas simply because the subject may not have been as widely tested and may rest on novel scientific theories.

Are there any limits to what I can recover?

Each state will vary. Under Ohio law, an injured party may recover damages related to medical expenses, lost wages, property damage, loss of enjoyment of life, past pain and suffering, future pain and suffering, and punitive damages. The numerical limits are as such:

  1. Non-Catastrophic Injury:   The non-economic award is limited to $250,000 per plaintiff, or three times the economic loss, up to $350,000 per plaintiff. A maximum of $500,000 for each “occurrence.”
  2. Catastrophic Injury: No limits.

The Lyon Firm may be able to file injury claims and recover rightful compensation for clients for medical expenses, pain and suffering, lost earnings and long-term disability.

Why should I hire The Lyon Firm?

Our Firm will help you find the answers.  The Firm has the experience, resources and dedication to take on difficult and emotional cases and help our clients obtain the justice for the wrong they have suffered. 

Experience:  Joe Lyon is an experienced Cincinnati Personal Injury Lawyer. The Lyon Firm has 17 years of experience and success representing individuals and plaintiffs in all fifty states, and in a variety of complex civil litigation matters.   Personal Injury lawsuits can be complex and require industry experts to determine the root cause of an accident or injury.  Mr. Lyon has worked with experts nationwide to assist individuals understand why an injury occurred and what can be done to improve their lives in the future. Some cases may go to a jury trial, though many others can be settled out of court.

Resources/Dedication: Mr. Lyon has worked with experts in the fields of accident reconstruction, biomechanics, epidemiology, metallurgy, pharmacology, toxicology, human factors, workplace safety, life care planning, economics, and virtually every medical discipline in successfully representing Plaintiffs across numerous areas of law. The Lyon Firm is dedicated to building the strongest cases possible for clients and their critical interests.

Results:  Mr. Lyon has obtained numerous seven and six figure results in personal injury,  automotive product liability, medical Negligence, construction accidents, and auto dealership negligence casesThe cases have involved successfully litigating against some of  the largest companies in the world.

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