Yes, you can sue a daycare for E. coli poisoning on behalf of your child if there is evidence that links the illness to the facility. Children with E. coli infections are at risk for developing a severe complication called hemolytic uremic syndrome (HUS), which causes renal failure.
Daycare E. coli Outbreaks Can be Prevented
Daycare facilities, including those in a home, are responsible for maintaining a clean and sanitary facility. Although there are a number of different ways E. coli can spread, the underlying source is feces. E. coli O157:H7 bacteria leave the body through the stool of an infected person or animal (usually cattle or other ruminant animals) and enter a person when hands, food, water, or objects (such as toys) contaminated with stool are placed in the mouth.
“Because young children often put their hands and toys in their mouths, daycare facilities can quickly become hot zones for E. coli. Because of this, daycare facilities should take affirmative steps to prevent the spread of E. coli,” stated Fred Pritzker, nationally-recognized food safety lawyer. “This of particular importance because young children are at greater risk of developing hemolytic uremic syndrome (also referred to as HUS), a severe illness that can cause kidney failure, pancreatitis, liver damage, brain damage, and damage to other organs.”
The best way for preschool and day care workers to prevent the spread of E. coli O157:H7 is to wash their hands thoroughly with soap and water for at least 20 seconds. Bacteria can easily hide under a fingernail or anywhere on the hand that was not thoroughly cleaned. It is especially important that preschool and daycare workers wash their hands after using the restroom, changing a diaper, preparing food, or feeding a child.
Other basic sanitation measures that preschools and daycare centers are expected to follow include the following:
- Clean and disinfect diapering area and potty chairs after each use;
- Clean toilets, sinks, and toys at least daily;
- Cook all hamburger and ground beef until it reaches an internal temperature of at least 160° Fahrenheit as measured with a food thermometer;
- Do not allow children to drink unpasteurized milk or fruit juices;
- Wash and disinfect all cutting boards, knives, utensils, and dishes that have been used for raw meat or poultry before using them to prepare fresh produce and other uncooked foods; and
- Do not let children serve or prepare food for other children.
Preschools and daycare centers should also notify parents when a child attending the preschool or daycare center is diagnosed with an E. coli infection.
Pritzker Hageman, P.A.is one of the few law firms in the United States that practices extensively in the area of foodborne illness litigation. The firm has collected millions of dollars on behalf of their clients. To contact our law firm and find out if you can sue for E. coli poisoning, please call 1-888-377-8900 (toll-free) or submit or online E. coli consultation form.