Food Poisoning


Food poisoning – also referred to as foodborne illness or foodborne disease – is usually fairly common, and can often be resolved without treatment. However, there is potential for very serious and long-term consequences.

In addition to food poisoning, food tampering can also be a risk factor. Food tampering is the intentional contamination of food product with the intent to cause harm to the consumer or the company providing the item. Such as the potatoes distributed by Linkletter Farms Ltd., which were found with metal pieces in them.

In general, Canada has a very safe food supply. However, the Public Health Agency of Canada still estimates that 1 in 8 Canadians each year get sick due to acquired foodborne illnesses (that’s about four million people).

Food Poisoning is caused by the consumption of contaminated food and water containing: 

  • Pathogenic bacteria, viruses, or parasites (transferred to the food from other sources)
  • chemical or natural toxins found within the food themselves (e.g. poisonous mushrooms)
  • harmful toxins and substances that build up in certain animals, or food (e.g. shellfish and insecticides)

The actual contamination can occur at any point during the production of the item consumed, ranging from its initial growing conditions, to the slaughterhouse, grocery store, restaurant or home.

food poisoning

  • Beef and poultry are two of the more common food products that may carry food-borne illness contaminants, as bacteria grows best on items that contain protein.
  • Eggs are also a common culprit, they can become contaminated before the egg is even laid, however poor handling practices can also contribute to the risk of illness.
  • Leafy greens are susceptible to contamination through contact with animals, contaminated washing equipment or water, and poor handling practices.
  • Tuna and other fresh fish are particularly vulnerable to decay which can generate a poison called scombrotoxin. Scombroid poisoning can lead to a variety of symptoms including headache, cramps, diarrhea, and even loss of vision.

Other vulnerable food items include: oysters, potatoes, cheese, tomatoes, sprouts, and berries.

If you suspect that you have suffered an illness, injury or disability as a result of consuming a contaminated or tampered food product from a restaurants, grocery store, or food processing facility, you may want to report you suspicions to the Canadian Food Inspection Agency. You may also want to contact one of our lawyers for a free consultation to see if you may be entitled to compensation.

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