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Legal remedies for food poisoning

Many New Jersey residents have come down with food poisoning at some point in their life. It is an illness that is caused by food that has been contaminated with a virus or bacteria. The symptoms can include nausea, fever, vomiting and a headache. These symptoms usually begin a few hours after eating contaminated food and last up to two days.

Food can become contaminated with bacteria if preparers have not washed their hands properly, or the food is prepared with dirty cooking utensils. Undercooked meat, raw seafood and raw fruits can become contaminated with bacteria easier than other kinds of foods. If food that requires refrigeration is not stored at the right temperature, it may become contaminated.

When people believe that they have been food poisoned after purchasing a meal from a restaurant, cafeteria or grocery store, they may bring a lawsuit against the business that sold the contaminated food to them. To be successful in such a food poisoning claim, they must be able to prove that the food they purchased was contaminated and their illness was caused by that food. Proving that a business sold contaminated food can be difficult, especially when food poisoning symptoms take hours to appear.

Food poisoning claims typically fall under a products liability theory, as contaminated food is usually considered a defective product. To prove that a vendor such as a restaurant, supermarket or cafeteria is liable for food poisoning, a lawyer may gather evidence of similar food poisoning incidents that affected customers who ate food sold by the same business.

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