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Poisoning and burns/ Food Poisoning

Food Poisoning

Food poisoning claims are often minor personal injury cases but serious symptoms can occur and in extreme cases, death can result. It is caused by the consumption of uncooked, contaminated or poorly prepared food. You may suffer food poisoning after eating at a restaurant, café or hotel, or after eating food you’ve bought at the supermarket.

If you have experienced food poisoning as a result of any of the above, you may be able to claim compensation.

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How Is Food Poisoning Caused?

Food poisoning can occur from a snack that you buy at a supermarket, all the way to a full meal at a restaurant. It can happen in many different circumstances, however, the cause will always be one of the following:

  • Bacteria has been cross-contaminated
  • Food has been insufficiently cooked
  • Produce has failed to be refrigerated or covered sufficiently
  • Poor hygiene standards have affected the preparation of food

If you need any more information on the causes of food poisoning, check out the Food Standards Agency website for more antecedents of food poisoning.

Different Types Of Claims

The most common type of food poisoning is bacterial food poisoning which begins when food consumed is infected with bacteria or parasites because it has not been cooked properly. This bacteria is not visible to the naked eye and cannot always be detected through smell or taste which is why food poisoning can easily start. Food poisoning claims cover a range of different types of symptoms. Some of the more common kinds of food poisoning claims are detailed below:

  • Salmonella is a bacterial disease often contracted through contaminated drinking water, meat, poultry and eggs. People can contract typhoid and gastroenteritis as well as food poisoning. Washing hands and heating food correctly can help prevent the spread of salmonella
  • Botulism is a rare form of food poisoning that can be fatal. You can contract foodborne botulism by contaminated food often because it has not been heated at a high enough temperature
  • E Coli is a form of bacterial food poisoning known medically as Escherichia coli. It is a bacterium found in the gut. Being hygienic and washing hands is an important step in stopping this form of food poisoning spreading
  • Norovirus is a very contagious virus that causes vomiting and diarrhea. Anyone can get infected and sick with norovirus. Consuming contaminated food or water and touching contaminated surfaces and then putting your unwashed hands in your mouth are two main common causes.
  • Giardia is a tiny parasite (germ) that causes the diarrheal disease giardiasis. Giardia is found on surfaces or in soil, food, or water that has been contaminated with feces (poop) from infected people or animals.You can get giardiasis if you swallow Giardia germs. The most common way people get sick is by swallowing contaminated drinking water.

Tell-tale Signs Something is Wrong in a Restaurant

If you have developed food poisoning and incurred pain, suffering and lost earnings as a result then you should be seeking compensation. However, it is always best to seek prevention rather than cure, so, with this in mind; you should aim to avoid the following when dining in a restaurant.

  • Dirty knives, forks, spoons and plates
  • Unclean floors and surfaces
  • Overflow of waste
  • Poor staff hygiene
  • Untied long hair

Having the representation of a leading first personal injury lawyer will be of great benefit, there are also some other things a prospective claimant can do to ensure their claim has the optimum chance of success.

What Are The Next Steps?

Gather Witnesses

Any claim for contaminated food eaten in a restaurant will be immeasurably stronger if it can be proved that another person who ate at the restaurant at roughly the same time has also suffered food poisoning. Perhaps it will be a friend, an acquaintance, a family member or even a stranger who is making a separate and independent claim; whatever the case, multiple cases of food poisoning are a very good indicator that something is amiss in the food safety systems of a particular kitchen.

Visit Your GP

One complicating factor in these types of personal injury claims is the varying incubation period for some food poisoning illnesses. While some will become manifest after only a few hours, others will take two or three days to develop. However long it takes a person to develop the illness, for both the sake of their health and the chances of any compensation claim they decide to make, seeing a doctor as soon as possible can make the world of difference.

Keep A Record

You should record your own account of the accident in a journal. Any financial loss due to the accident should also be recorded including things such as loss of income and medical bills.

Furthermore, you should:

  • Write a list of everything you ate in the previous 24 hours
  • Keep all relevant receipts from restaurants or supermarkets
  • Keep suspect food, if you still have it, in its packaging

Contact First Personal Injury

Then all that is left to do is get in touch with us and let us help you start your claim.

How Much Compensation for Food Poisoning?

The table below gives an indication of the amount of compensation you might receive at the end of a successful food poisoning claim. For a more accurate idea of how much you could claim, you should contact us.



  • Severe food poisoning causing serious acute pain, vomiting, diarrhoea and fever and requiring hospital admission.This level of food poisoning may also cause continuing incontinence and IBS. It is likely to have a significant impact on a person’s ability to work and enjoy life.

    £36,060 to £49,270

  • Serious but short-lived food poisoning, diarrhoea and vomiting, diminishing over 2-4 weeks.There may be some remaining discomfort and disturbance of bowel function and an impact on sex life and enjoyment of food over a few years.

    £8,950 to £18,020

  • Hospital admission for some days with symptoms lasting for a few weeks but complete recovery within a year or two.

    £3,710 to £8,950

  • Varying degrees of disabling pain, cramps and diarrhoea continuing for some days or weeks.

    £860 to £3,710

*Figures shown are approximate, based on experience and previous settlement amounts attributed to an individual’s pain and suffering. Final settlement awards may be worth more or less than the stated amount, depending on injury and individual personal circumstances.

How Do I Begin My Food Poisoning Claim?

If you have suffered food poisoning then you may be able to pursue a personal injury claim, if it can be proven that the fault was that of the third party. Because of the nature of food poisoning, it can sometimes be challenging to prove liability. People can react differently to food poisoning with some side effects starting later than others and some symptoms varying from one person to the next. It is advisable to keep receipts and any evidence of where you bought your food as well as any receipts for any medical expenses you have paid for. The Consumer Protection Act 1987 states that retailers must sell products that are free from harmful bacteria which could cause food poisoning. Successful food poisoning claims require proof that the food was not safe, you have been made ill and the cause was the food. It is possible to bring a claim against the direct producer of the food, the importers, or the owner of the brand. To learn more or to start your claim, get in touch with our expert team on 0800 808 9740 or contact us online.