The Importance of Documentation for Food Poisoning
Verification of Food Poisoning
Food poisoning is often caused by bacteria, parasites or viruses. These pathogens can grow in meat or poultry, eggs, unpasteurized dairy products, vegetables, and many other foods.
It’s essential to keep track of everything you eat and drink for the 24 hours before the onset of your symptoms. You should also write down how soon after eating a certain food the symptoms began, and describe the specific nature of your symptoms. The more detailed your notes, the more credible they will be.
Make sure to visit your doctor and provide a stool sample (faecal specimen). Many types of bacteria can cause food poisoning, so it’s important for medical professionals to be able to identify the specific bacteria causing your illness. It may also be helpful if you could find any documentation that can help identify the food or restaurant you consumed – a receipt, for example. This will help strengthen your case and improve the likelihood of a successful compensation claim.
Talk to Your Doctor
If you have a chance, try to identify the food that made you sick by talking with others who also became ill. You can also take notes about when you ate the suspect food and what you were doing at the time.
Your doctor will ask you about your symptoms and what you ate in the days before they started. He or she may order a stool culture to determine what bacteria made you sick. This test can look for a germ’s DNA fingerprint and determine which antibiotics will kill it.
Food poisoning is hard to diagnose based solely on symptoms because the illness is similar to stomach flu or even the common cold. That is why doctors often misdiagnose food poisoning by treating the symptoms of nausea, vomiting and diarrhea as a flu-like stomach virus.
Seek Medical Treatment
Food poisoning symptoms usually come on quickly, with vomiting or diarrhea occurring within hours of consuming the contaminated food. People can lose a lot of fluids during this time, leading to dehydration.
If your illness is severe, seek medical treatment. A doctor can prescribe you a medication to fight the bacteria, parasites or viruses that are making you sick.
Be sure to give the doctor a detailed list of the foods you’ve eaten over the past few days. This will help them pinpoint the source of the contamination, particularly if it took several days for your symptoms to show up. Your doctor may also want to take a stool sample or blood test to find the exact cause of your illness. This is particularly important if the bacteria responsible are infrequent, such as Norovirus or E coli.
Get a Copy of Your Medical Records
Symptoms of food poisoning can show up hours or even days after you eat contaminated food. This delay makes it hard to trace your symptoms back to one particular food or drink.
Your doctor will ask you lots of questions about your symptoms, what you ate and where, and may take a sample of your stool or urine. They might also do some detective work and see if anyone else in your family has eaten the same foods you did and got sick.
Your doctor will probably give you medicine to fight the bacteria causing your illness, or tell you to drink lots of fluids to prevent dehydration. They might also do some lab tests to find out what germ is making you sick.
Seek Legal Advice
Food poisoning is a serious illness that can lead to permanent damage. It takes a lot of time off work and affects your daily routine.
It is important to reach out to a personal injury attorney as soon as possible after confirming that you are suffering from food poisoning. This will give the lawyer the best chance to gather evidence before it disappears.
Proving that the restaurant, grocery store, or whoever was responsible for your food poisoning is liable can be difficult. This is because the symptoms can take hours or days to manifest. Medical tests and a receipt of the food that made you sick can help to pinpoint the source. This is especially true when there are other reports of contaminated food from the same establishment or location.