September 19, 2019

Lawyer Asks: Why Are There Ground Beef E. coli Outbreaks?

This afternoon, amidst the ongoing ground beef E. coli O103 outbreak affecting much of the east-central United States, I began my weekly meal preparation ritual. I went to the freezer and grabbed two pounds of frozen ground beef, defrosted it, and put it in a frying pan to brown. My family of four goes through so much ground beef that I regularly fill my freezer with a “quarter of beef” raised by my father and processed by a local butcher shop. We live on it. My family’s subsistence on ground beef is not uncommon. For 2018, Americans were projected to eat 222.2 pounds of meat and poultry, each. According to the self-proclaimed “best information source” of the beef industry, “Ground beef is the most widely consumed beef product among American consumers. It is estimated … [Read more...]

What Should You Do If Your Child is Diagnosed With Salmonella?

If yo0ur child has been diagnosed with a Salmonella infection, you are probably worried and upset. What should you do?   First, and most importantly, make sure your child receives all necessary medical care and rehabilitation. Salmonella infections are more common in children, and they can also be more devastating at a young age. Most kids infected with Salmonella suffer diarrhea, nausea, vomiting, a fever, and headache. Some complications of salmonellosis in children can include: bacteremia, meningitis, and other neurological complications, osteomyelitis, joint pain or arthritis, urinary tract infections, post-infectious IBS, or other gastrointestinal disorders (even into adulthood), and, rarely, death. Even mild cases of salmonellosis can take children weeks to recover. … [Read more...]

What is Listeria Poisoning?

Listeria poisoning is an infection of the body with Listeria bacteria, more specifically Listeria monocytogenes (or L. mono, for short). This kind of infection is called listeriosis. The first signs of infection might include: Diarrhea Nausea Muscle aches Fever The incubation period—the time between consumption of the contaminated food and first signs of illness—varies depending on the type of Listeria infection. Listeria illnesses can range from mild to “invasive.” For otherwise healthy people, Listeria usually presents as a “stomach bug.” Mild infections are rarely diagnosed, because people may not even require medical care. In these circumstances, the incubation period is shorter: 24 hours, on average. However, in people that are young, elderly, pregnant, … [Read more...]

The Rise of Cyclospora

When I tell people about how busy the Summer of 2018 was for Pritzker Hageman because of the sheer volume of Cyclospora victims needing our legal help, the first question I usually get is: what is Cyclospora? Cyclospora is a protozoan parasite that causes severe gastroenteritis in humans called cyclosporiasis. There’s a reason that Cyclospora doesn’t have the same household name that more common bacterial pathogens like Salmonella and E. coli do: it hasn’t been causing illnesses in the continental United States for nearly as long. The parasite Cyclospora was first described by Dr. Ashford, a British parasitologist, in 1979. He found the parasite in stool samples from sickened people in Papua New Guinea in 1977 and 1978. In the 1990s, Cyclospora garnered increasing interest from … [Read more...]

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