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Food Poisoning in Boston Increases in Summertime

One of the most effective ways to prevent food poisoning is to make sure too keep all food properly refrigerated.  When food is sitting out on the counter or on a hot picnic table, it is in what is known as the danger zone between 40 degrees and 140 degrees Fahrenheit.  Basically, once food is out of the oven and not in the refrigerator, bacteria can be growing, and the longer it stays in that temperature, the more dangerous it will become.

soup-2-1329592As discussed in a recent article from WTOP Health News, one in six people in the United States will become sick from poisoning each year.  This shows how high your risk is, and that risk only gets worse in the summer. The reason for this is because with the intense heat and people eating outdoors more often, bacteria will form a lot more quickly than it will indoors or at other times in the year.

For example, at room temperature, many foods will be safe to eat after being left out for up to two hours.  On the other hand, outside on a hot and sunny day, that same food may become contaminated in an hour or less. This is especially true when food is sitting in temperatures at or above 90 degrees. Many people have suspected mayonnaise is of the more dangerous foods to leave out in the sun, but it has been shown that the amount of vinegar and stabilizers in commercially manufactured mayonnaise cause it to not necessarily become infected all that quick.  However, mayonnaise is often mixed with low-acid foods such as eggs, chicken, and seafood.

It should be noted that many of these cases result in an upset stomach and may result in nausea, diarrhea, or even vomiting, but are not a major health risk to an otherwise healthy adult.  However, even these milder cases can be very dangerous in young children, the elderly, or people with compromised immune systems.  In some cases, though, the bacteria can be very harmful and can result in serious personal injury or even death.

While it is fairly simple to follow the basic safety rules and prevent yourself from getting food poisoning when you are in charge of food preparation and storage, it is not always so easy when you go out to eat.  Many Boston area restaurants have outdoor seating areas that are open the in hotter summer months.  Some of the establishments will have condiments and other food items outside in hotel pans and cambros that are not properly refrigerated or iced down.

If you have become sick from eating at a restaurant in Boston and spent some time in the hospital or missed a considerable amount of work, you should contact a Boston personal injury lawyer to see if you have a valid claim.  While many claims will be brought under a standard theory of negligence, some claims will allow for added damages awards under the Massachusetts consumer protection laws, depending on the particular facts in your case.

If you have suffered personal injury in Massachusetts, call the Law Offices of Jeffrey S. Glassman for a free and confidential appointment — 1-888-367-2900.

Additional Resources:

Summer is prime time for food poisoning, May 27, 2016, WTOP, By Paula Wolfson

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Snaras v. Richard Lundgren, Inc.: Wrongful Death in Massachusetts, April 7, 2016, Boston Personal Injury Lawyer Blog