Russell Worth Personal Injury Blog:

Making Me Sick! Food poisoning

Feb 2, 2017 | Uncategorised

Russell Worth Personal Injury Blog:

Making Me Sick! Food poisoning

Claiming Compensation For Food Poisoning

Anyone who has suffered from food poisoning knows what a dreadful experience it is.  Vomiting, diarrhoea, stomach cramps, fever and chills; food poisoning is an unpleasant way to spend 24-48 hours (generally how long symptoms last).

Food poisoning

In most cases, food poisoning clears up with treatment, however, in severe cases, victims of food poisoning require hospital treatment.
Some even die.

According to the World Health Organisation (WHO) at least 600 million people, or 1 in 10 worldwide, fall ill from contaminated food each year and 420,000 die, many of them young children.  The Food Standards Agency (FSA) report that there are over 500,000 cases of food poisoning in the UK every year.

Many people are confused about what actually causes food poisoning and what to do if it suddenly becomes serious.  And if you have contracted food poisoning after eating in a restaurant, café or consuming a takeaway, can you claim compensation for personal injury?

The causes of food poisoning

Food poisoning is caused by eating contaminated food.  It is usually caused by bacteria but it can also result from viruses or parasites.  Examples of bacteria that can cause food poisoning include:

  • Listeria – found in some chilled, “ready-to-eat” foods, including pre-packed sandwiches, cooked sliced meats and pâté, and soft cheeses (such as Brie or Camembert).
  • Escherichia coli (E. coli) – usually caused by eating undercooked beef and drinking unpasteurised milk
  • Salmonella – found in raw eggs, uncooked meat and dairy products
  • Campylobacter – the most common cause of food-poisoning in the UK, this bacterium resides on raw or under-cooked meat, poultry and unpasteurised milk

Food can become contaminated at any point during its production, handling or cooking.

Practices that can result in bacteria developing on food include:

  • not cooking meat properly
  • failing to store food that needs to be chilled to 5º Celsius correctly
  • people dealing with food not washing their hands
  • cross-contamination caused by using the same chopping board for meat and vegetables
  • not re-heating left-overs to piping hot before serving

When food poisoning turns serious

Unpleasant as it is, food poisoning seldom results in serious complications.  But when it does, the consequences can be devastating.  Last year, a 53-year-old grandmother died from a perforated bowel and septic shock after she contracted food poisoning from a London pub carvery.  And in 2012, a woman died and 33 other fell ill with food poisoning after eating Christmas dinner at a restaurant.  An investigation revealed the turkey meat was either not cooked adequately or not reheated properly, causing Clostridium perfringens bacteria to develop.
A leading cause of complications resulting from food poisoning is dehydration due to vomiting and diarrhoea.  If you have dehydration symptoms such as little or no urine, sunken eyes, dry mouth, dizziness and/or fast breathing you should see a doctor immediately.

If you think your food poisoning resulted from eating food from a can, be alert for signs of botulism.  These include; blurred vision, trouble swallowing or breathing and muscle weakness.
You should also seek medical attention if your vomiting and diarrhoea does not abate after 24-36 hours.

Claiming compensation for food poisoning

If you believe you contracted food poisoning due to the negligence of a food-outlet such as a restaurant, café or takeaway shop, you may have a claim for compensation.

Owners of food outlets owe a duty of care to their customers.  They must ensure their hygiene and food safety practices and procedures comply with government regulations and the standards set by the governing body, the Food Standards Agency.

Your food poisoning may have occurred because of sloppy handling or storage practices, or your food was not heated to the correct temperature to ensure dangerous bacteria were killed.  If this is the case and you suffered damage, such as lost income from having to take time off work, or your condition developed into a serious, debilitating illness, you may be able to claim compensation.  The money you receive can help pay for any further medical bills and make up for lost wages or salary.

In summary

Most people are unaware just how serious food poisoning can be.  If you or your child has been badly affected, you can seek compensation to redress your situation.

Don’t suffer in silence as so many do.

At Russell Worth Solicitors we specialise in personal injury claims.  If you have suffered from food poisoning and would like a free claim assessment so that you can discover your rights, please call us now on 0800 028 2060 or complete our online Free QuickClaim Enquiry.

Free Claim Assessment

If you have been injured and would like a free Claim Assessment so that you can discover your rights, please call us now on 0800 028 2060 or complete our Online Claim Assessment.

Excellent. The service was efficient from start to finish and I would not hesitate to recommend Russell Worth Solicitors to anybody who is unfortunate enough to meet with a personal injury that is not their fault.
Hilary Ann

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