In most places, you are within your rights to file a lawsuit against any company that has provided you food that led to food poisoning or other illness from food-borne pathogens. Depending on where in the supply chain the contamination occurred, the grower, supplier, and distributor of the food may all be liable. Here are some things you should know about food poisoning lawsuits.

Human Contamination

The problem may not be with the food itself, but with the actions of employees. It's not unknown for persons suffering from illness to show up for work and handle edible products. They might not even know they carry an infection at the time. It can also come from employees who handle other infected products or equipment and then handle your food. Bacteria can be spread by contact without realizing it. Make note of sanitary conditions when you buy food.


Incidents of contamination should involve PFGE or WGS genetic testing. They can determine the exact pathogens present and even their source. Salmonella, for instance, will have a distinctive DNA signature that can be traced to a specific outbreak. Investigating bodies such insurers, injury attorneys, and civil authorities will be able to contact these testing services and examine the evidence to establish a specific chain of events surrounding these health risks.

Grocery Foods

If you bought something at a grocery store, be sure to save a sample if it made you seriously ill. Also save the packaging and the receipt, if possible. Even if genetic testing is not done, a chain of circumstances can also lead to discovery of the at-fault food provider. For instance, if several instances of food poisoning can be traced to a single store's shipment of cucumbers, those can be tested for E. coli or other pathogens to determine the extent of the health risks and the party at fault.


If you can establish that a vendor or supplier was negligent, and this negligence caused your illness, you have grounds for a lawsuit. Investigation may reveal that the premises were unsanitary, infested by mice or other pests, or the company failed to observe regulations for proper storage or shipping. If such factors were involved, you can file a suit like any other personal injury case seeking compensation for medical bills, lost wages, or even punitive damages such as pain and suffering.

With food poisoning, negligence and exact causes can be difficult to determine compared to other types of accident. But if you've become seriously ill through someone else's apathy or carelessness, you have every right to seek damages.

Author's Bio: 

Dixie Somers is a freelance writer and blogger for business, home, and family niches. Dixie lives in Phoenix, Arizona, and is the proud mother of three beautiful girls and wife to a wonderful husband.