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Can I Make A Claim For Food Poisoning?

Part of the Can I Make A Claim For...? series
July 15, 2019

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Sometimes, when you go out for a meal, or order from a restaurant or takeaway, you get food poisoning. And it can cause some serious pain and suffering. Some people treat this as simply a risk of eating out. But, you may be able to make a claim if you have had food poisoning. There is a chance the restaurant was at fault and you could be owed compensation. Food retailers have a legal duty to meet the relevant hygiene regulations. But some of them fall way below the standards required.

With food poisoning cases exceeding 1 million a year in the UK, keep reading to see if you could make a food poisoning claim.

What Can I Claim For?

You can claim for the pain and suffering you endured. And, where the illness was significant, compensation is usually more than £1000. You can also claim financial loss such as loss of earnings and medical costs.

Foods To Look Out For

A range of foods could contribute to food poisoning. Yet, there are some common culprits. They include:

  • Undercooked meat, fish, and poultry
  • Eggs and raw eggs
  • Some types of cheese

Other common causes of food poisoning are re-heated rice, raw salad, or unwashed fruit. It is also important that the staff, kitchens, and toilets maintain high standards of hygiene.

You should also remember that the time it takes for symptoms to appear can vary. Symptoms can appear within an hour or take a couple of weeks to appear.

What Proof Do You Need?

If the symptoms persist, or you are concerned about your health, you must go to your GP so you can get any medical help you may need. The fact that your treatment is recorded in your GP records may also help in proving your case.

After that, if you believe you may be able to claim, there are a few things you should consider.

  • Keep a record of all witnesses who can comment on the hygiene standards.
  • If others who ate food from the same source were also ill, then this is implies that the restaurant where those affected all ate was at fault.
  • Is there any other possible cause for the illness? Being served dangerous food may seem like the most obvious explanation, but it is not always the case. You should eliminate as many alternative possibilities as possible before deciding you had food poisoning.
  • Do you have evidence of where you ate? If you are considering making a claim, try to gather relevant receipts and bills. These can all help to strengthen your claim.

Once you have some answers to these questions, you should be able to see if you have grounds for a case. Of course, if you are still unsure, we can help you with that. There’s more about that below.

Who Can You Claim Against?

You can claim against anybody who gives you food poisoning, but mainly these claims are brought against commercial food retailers such as restaurants, take-aways, and grocery stores. This is because they will probably have insurance or the finance to pay your compensation.

Also, you can claim for food poisoning whilst abroad. However, these claims tend to involve all-inclusive hotels where it is easier to prove that the hotel served the infected food. And, in that case, the tour operator is responsible. That means the claim can be run in the UK rather than in foreign courts.

If you have specifically been ill abroad because of food poisoning, please also take a look at this article on holiday sickness claims.

There Is No Need To Prove Negligence

If you can show that you were sold infected food or drinks, then the retailer is already provably liable. You do not have to show that their hygiene practices were substandard. They should not be serving poisonous or dangerous food, so they have responsibility to ensure that infected food doesn’t reach your plate. The courts will recognise this. So, where they are faced with a restaurant which has sold infected food they will usually order compensation to be paid to protect the public.

Still Have Questions?

Hopefully you now have a better understanding of food poisoning claims. And, you should have an idea of whether you can make a claim yourself. But, if you wish to make a claim or you have any further questions, feel free to call us for up to 15 minutes free advice on 01925 351 350. Or, send us an email from either our contact page or the form below.