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Foodborne Illness costs U.S. $6.9 billion every year

Chicago personal injury lawyers are keenly aware of the outbreak of E.coli 0104 in Europe. According to the New York Times and Washington Post, the E.coli strain that killed 18 people, threatens over 2000 others, and caused 500 to develop hemolytic uremic syndrome, a life-threatening kidney complication for which there is no cure or treatment, is currently legal in the United States. At present, the FDA has never required testing produce for the bacteria and meat inspectors do not test for them. Furthermore, only one percent of imported food is inspected. As for the United States, two cases of the virulent strain have been reported. Both victims are in the hospital and remain seriously ill.

The United States recently recovered from two E. coli scares. In 1993 when E. coli 0157:H7 was found in Jack in the Box hamburgers. E. coli 0157:H7 killed four children and 750 others became very ill as a result of consumption. Last year, E.coli 026 was found in Cargill Meat Solutions hamburgers. Cargill Meat Solutions subsequently recalled 8,500 pounds of hamburger. The virulent strain currently causing devastation in Europe is E.coli 0104. Food poisoning lawsuits have become more common in the United States. The United States Department of Agriculture is currently considering proposals to ban emerging strains of E.coli in meat, but the meat industry is opposed to the regulation. The USDA has sent a proposal to the Office of Management and Budget, but nothing has been decided and the proposal has not been made public.

Illness and death caused by E.coli poisoning and foodborne disease is expensive. A 2011 Government Accountability Office report found that each year foodborne disease causes about 76 million illnesses and 325,000 hospitalizations. Annually, foodborne disease causes 5,000 deaths. Costs that stem from just the five major foodborne diseases result in $6.9 billion spent every year on medical treatment, productivity losses, and premature deaths from those five foodborne diseases. The high cost of foodborne disease is a grave burden on any family, and many are seeking the help. Illinois food poisoning attorneys can help families cope with this hardship.

Chicago injury lawyers at Levin and Perconti can help individuals and families who suffer from foodbornde disease deal with the insurmountable expenses. The dangers of foodborne disease can range from illness to even death. They believe that everyone has the right to enjoy safe food.