If you suspect that you've suffered food poisoning, there are a number of critical steps that should be taken - not only in terms of protecting a potential lawsuit, but even more importantly, in order to assure that you receive the proper medical care to remedy your illness.
Fortunately, the Center for Disease Control has put out some very good information on the basic steps that should be taken, particularly contacting your local health department, public health laboratories (for a list of the network of public health labs that investigate food borne illnesses, go the PulseNet), and, depending on the condition that is involved, also contacting the CDC via the National Notifiable Diseases Surveillance System (NNDSS).
There are a number of other steps you should take as well. Here's a partial list:
- Preserve whatever is left of the contaminated food that you consumed. There is a strong likelihood that it should be tested.
- Document what you ate in the 24-48 hours BEFORE you ate that tainted food. It will help rule out other possible causes of your illness
- Check if anyone else who ate from the same food/restaurant at or around that time also became ill, and if they and/or their food was tested, what the results of those tests were
If you have any further questions regarding a food poisoning issue and what to do in order to recover damages for your illness, you should contact an attorney experienced in these areas, because the evidence needed to pursue a claim in this area must be preserved rather quickly at the risk of damaging your potential calim.