28 January 2015
The tragic consequences of food poisoning
We regularly hear of people becoming ill after eating in restaurants or after having bought a sandwich or something as innocuous as a simple salad.
We live in an era where packaged foods are sometimes left un-refrigerated and sold when they are no longer as fresh as they should be.
The basic reality is that unless some very clear and simple rules are followed, there is a real risk of food poisoning.
Generally food poisoning amounts to nothing more than a slight stomach bug and a few days of upset with numerous visits to the toilet. On other occasions the consequences can be very severe and result in brain damage, paralysis and death.
Such an outcome occurred in December 2012 when a group of friends suffered food poisoning after having their Christmas meal at a pub in Essex, resulting in the tragic death of one of their party.
Unsurprisingly, the Health and Safety Executive of the local council carried out extensive investigations and the subsequent prosecution against both the chef and manager, as well as the owners of the pub where the meal was served, resulted in both a prison sentence as well as a severe fine.
Food allergies, together with other allergies, are issues that should not be trifled with as they can equally cause either a minor upset or tragic consequences leading to death. It is almost easy when the allergies affect only a small minority of society for the rest of us to forget or ignore the implications these allergies can have.
The law on food poisoning and allergies is clear. The seller owes a duty of care to the consumer. This has been enshrined in statute for many years now as well as in common law.
If you eat in a restaurant and suffer food poisoning you are entitled to bring a food poisoning claim against the restaurant. Evidence is of course vital and it is important that as much as possible is done immediately after any bout of food poisoning to preserve evidence.
Equally if you have an allergy, food manufacturers and suppliers should clearly label food and tell you of any potential risks that might cause you harm.
If they do not, a criminal fine and civil liability can be a consequence.
For a free consultation about claiming compensation for food poisoning contact us here and we'll be happy to help you.