Food Poisoning Compensation Claims
What is food poisoning?
Food poisoning is an illness brought about by harmful toxins or bacteria that contaminate food. Symptoms can vary in severity, and they often include more than one of the following; a loss of appetite, abdominal cramps, diarrhoea, vomiting, headaches, nausea or sometimes fever.
It is not always our own fault; people can suffer from food poisoning after eating in a restaurant or by the food purchased in a supermarket. In this case, it is likely to have been caused by someone else’s negligence, as there are health and safety procedures in place which should be followed to protect you.
It can take half an hour or a few days to develop food poisoning in your system, where the harmful bacterium grows and spreads. Once this brings on the symptoms, it could last for a few hours or days, potentially even weeks. In more serious bouts, it could even bring on life-lasting conditions, such as Irritable Bowel Syndrome.
A study carried out by the Food Standards Agency reveals that there are over 500,000 cases of food poisoning every year from known pathogens. This number does not include cases unreported, as many people don’t. Pathogens are more commonly known as the bugs that cause food poisoning or other diseases. Some of the main pathogenic bugs are:
- Campylobacter: this is the most common pathogen that causes diarrhoea and infection in the intestines. It is often found in birds and chickens; if poultry is not cooked properly and is eaten raw, then the consumer can become infected.
- Salmonella: this bacterium can be found in the stomach of animals, meaning that it can affect various meat, eggs, milk and poultry. Many are not aware that it can also be found in green vegetables, fruit or even shellfish; this could be down to any contaminants in the soil or water it grows in. If any of this food smells or looks/tastes unusual, it could be that it contains the pathogen.
- Escherichia Coli: E. coli can be found in the intestines of animals. Certain levels of this can be severe and harmful, causing blood in stools as well as other symptoms if it is ingested. It can also be found in contaminated water.
- Norovirus: otherwise known as the Norwalk Virus, it causes millions of cases of gastroenteritis and thousands of other foodborne-related hospitalisations. It can spread rapidly in places such as schools and hospitals, so staying at home until it has cleared is the best thing to do. Although you can catch it at any time of the year, it is prevalent throughout the winter months. Anything raw or food that is handled unhygienically after being cooked can contain this pathogen.
As with infections or viruses, older people, young children and those with compromised immune systems have a heightened risk of being poisoned by such pathogens.
In many cases, food poisoning can disappear on its own, but in more serious situations, it leaves people with no choice but to be rushed to the hospital and seek medical attention.
Can I make a claim for food poisoning?
Food can be free of harmful bacteria if it is stored, cooked and handled properly. Those owning and working in places such as restaurants, cafes, food production companies and hotels should be complying with an established and recognised food safety legislation body.
If the food standards are breached and hygiene is poor, causing you to be poisoned, then that is when a claim could be made. In this situation, the negligence of another would have to be proven in order to successfully claim compensation.
Poor hygiene as a result of negligence could involve cases such as the following:
- The chef or staff may not have washed their hands when preparing and handling your food.
- The utensils used may be dirty.
- A lack of care taken by mixing the raw and cooked meat.
- The storage units where food is kept may not be clean.
- The surfaces or general environment where food is prepared could be unclean.
- Unhygienic environments could consist of dangerous chemicals that could also infect food.
In such cases, you are not liable for your suffering of food poisoning, so you should get in touch with the right people to see if you have a case to receive compensation.
How can Accident Line Direct help with making a claim for food poisoning compensation?
If you have suffered food poisoning due to somebody else’s negligent behaviour and you are ready to make a claim, or if you would just like more information, then Accident Line Direct is on hand to assess your situation and determine whether or not you are able to make a claim.
We work on a No Win No Fee basis, meaning that you are not put under any financial risks, so contact us for free today to receive professional and informative assistance.