The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) estimates that every year 48 million people in the United States becomes ill from food poisoning. Food poisoning occurs when people consume food or beverages that contain parasites, bacteria, viruses or toxins.

Common Causes of Food Poisoning

Some of the most common causes of foodborne illnesses are listed below:


People generally contract salmonella by ingesting food or beverages that have been contaminated by animal feces or if they had contact with an infected animal. Around 1.4 million Americans become sick from salmonella every year.


Listeria occurs when someone eats food that is contaminated with the bacterium Listeria monocytogenes. The bacteria can be found in uncooked meats and vegetables, non-pasteurized milk products, and deli meats.

E. coli

According to the CDC, 73,000 people contract E. coli every year. E. coli can be caused by unsafe food preparation, undercooked meat, drinking raw milk or contaminated water.


Botulism is a rare but serious illness that is caused by the bacterium Clostridium botulism. People who contract botulism are at risk for paralysis and death. Foodborne botulism can be caused from home-canned foods such as beets, corn and asparagus. However, botulism can be contracted from commercially can food products as well.


People usually contract Campylobacter from contaminated food or water, raw poultry, fresh produce and unpasteurized food. Campylobacter jejuni bacteria are one of the common causes of traveler’s diarrhea.


Unlike many common foodborne illnesses, giardia is caused by a parasite. Giardia is generally caused by drinking contaminated water.


Norovirus, also known as the stomach flu, is a very contagious virus that causes 21 million illnesses every year. People can contract the virus from another infected person, by touching a contaminated surface or eating contaminated foods.

Symptoms of Food Poisoning

Food poisoning symptoms usually start 2-6 hours after eating contaminated food. That may increase or decrease, depending on the foodborne illness. Common symptoms include:

  • Abdominal pain
  • Diarrhea
  • Fever
  • Chills
  • Vomiting
  • Weakness

The majority of people recover from food poisoning within a couple of days. At times, serious complications can occur from food poisoning. Unfortunately, food poisoning causes 128,000 people to be hospitalizedevery year and 3,000 deaths. Individuals should contact their healthcare provider if they experience any of the following symptoms:

  • Blood or pus in the stools
  • A fever above 101°F or a fever above 100.4°F for a child
  • Diarrhea and your unable to drink fluids because of nausea and vomiting
  • You recently traveled to a foreign country and developed diarrhea
  • Signs of dehydration
  • Diarrhea for more than 5 days
  • Food poisoning from fish, mushrooms or botulism

Filing a Food Poisoning Lawsuit

If you or a loved one has become ill from food poisoning, you may be able to seek compensation for medical expenses, lost wages and other damages. Contact The Eichholz Law Firm today to discuss your legal options. The Eichholz Law Firm has the knowledge and resources to handle Georgia food poisoning cases.

To learn more about food poisoning lawsuits, fill out the Free Case Review form on this page or call 1 (855) 551-1019.