Food And Water Illness
Have you suffered food poisoning after dining out, or buying items from a supermarket or shop?
If you have, and you have a diagnosis of food poisoning from a GP, or hospital, contact MG Legal and speak to one of our food poisoning compensation experts to discuss whether you have a claim against the supplier of the food or drink that made you ill.
MG Legal's solicitors specialising in personal injury, accept all food poisoning compensation claims, on a NO WIN NO FEE basis, meaning there is no financial risk to you. Contact our team of expert personal injury solicitors, and if we accept your claim on a No Win No Fee Basis, we will have your claim started straight away.
What is food poisoning?
Food poisoning, also sometimes called foodborne illness, is an illness caused by eating contaminated food. Infectious organisms — including bacteria, viruses, and parasites — or their toxins are the most common causes of food poisoning. In most cases, if you have suffered from food poisoning, the food you have eaten is most likely contaminated is contaminated by bacteria, such as salmonella or Escherichia coli (E. coli), or a virus, such as norovirus.
The good news is that if you have food poisoning, it's not usually serious and most people get better within a few days without treatment.
What are the symptoms of food poisoning?
If you have food poisoning, chances are it won’t go undetected. Symptoms can vary depending on the source of the infection. The length of time it takes for symptoms to appear also varies, but it can range from as little as 1 hour to as long as 28 days.
Symptoms of food poisoning include:
Feeling sick (nausea)
Being sick (vomiting)
A high temperature of 38C or above
Feeling generally unwell – such as feeling tired or having aches and chills
Skin Conditions such as erythema nodosum
How long does it take for food poisonng to develop?
Contrary to popular belief, many food-related illnesses, like food poisoning, can take days to make themselves known, others are much quicker. Here are some rough guides, along with the most common causes, which may help you identify the source of your illness:
Staphylococcus aureus – can begin 30 minutes to six hours after consuming the contaminated food. The most common sources are food that is already cooked or does not need cooking such as sliced meat, puddings and pies, and also sandwiches.
Clostridium perfringens – can take six to 24 hours to develop. Most common sources are larger joints of meat, gravy and also dried and pre-cooked food.
Salmonella – can begin anywhere from six hours to six days after consumption. Common sources are raw or undercooked poultry, meat, eggs, unpasteurised dairy products, and also raw fruit and vegetables.
Norovirus – can begin 12-48 hours after consumption. The most common sources are leafy vegetables, fresh fruit, and shellfish.
Clostridium botulinum (also known as botulism) – can begin 18-36 hours after consumption. Commonly found in canned or fermented foods, particularly those that are “home-made”.
Vibrio – can begin one to four days after consumption. Common sources include shellfish, particularly oysters, with a higher risk of being in uncooked or undercooked dishes.
Campylobacter – can begin two to five days after consumption. Common sources are raw or undercooked poultry, unpasteurised dairy, and contaminated water.
E-Coli – can begin three to four days after consumption. Common sources include
raw beef, unpasteurised dairy, and raw green vegetables.
Cyclosora – can begin one week after consumption. Common sources include raw
fruit, veg, and herbs.
Listeria – can begin up to four weeks after consumption. Common sources include
soft cheese, raw sprouts, melons, deli meat, smoked seafood, and unpasteurised
As you can see, there is a large range of incubation time for some of these illnesses
and so, it can be difficult to identify the cause of your illness. It is, however, far from
impossible and MG Legal’s expert food contamination solicitors are highly skilled in
piecing together the necessary information to form a strong and compelling case.
Get in touch today for a no-nonsense discussion with one of our personal injury
experts, with a view to accepting your case on a no win no fee agreement.
What evidence do I need to make a food poisoning compensation claim?
Food and drink related illness can be more difficult to prove that, say, a Road Traffic Accident, simply because in many cases, you have left the hotel, cafe, or restaurant and the cause of the illness has been disposed of before you know you are ill.
Should you know about a problem with the food or drink whilst it is still in your possession, try to take a photograph of the cause, if you are served undercooked chicken, for example, take a photograph of the “pink” middle, or in the case of a foreign object, a photograph of the offending item. It can assist if you make a report
to the restaurant or shop where you purchased the meal, showing the manager where possible the issue you have found.
The same applies to any item which you believe has caused an allergic reaction, keeping hold of the wrapper, taking photographs of any labels on a shelf or serving counter and if possible, retaining the item itself by freezing it in a sealed container can all help with supporting your claim at a later date.
This is, of course, not always possible and so if you become ill, a medical examination is generally advisable, primarily for your own health and wellbeing but also because any tests that are performed can identify the specific microbe that has caused your illness.
Your GP, or local hospital will be able to diagnose the type of food poisoning based on your symptoms. In severe cases, blood tests, stool tests, and tests on food that you have eaten may be conducted to determine what is responsible for the food poisoning.
In many of these cases, much of the evidence required will come from ‘behind the scenes’ such as hygiene or health and safety audits, history of illnesses, and staff training policies. These are all items that your expert solicitor will obtain in support of your claim from the fault party or their insurance company.
If in doubt, contact MG Legal and ask to speak to one of our personal injury specialist solicitors for further advice.
I have food poisoning after eating out, can I make a compensation claim?
In order to prove that you suffered food poisoning, as a result of one particular meal, say, if you ate out at a café or restaurant, then you will need to be able to prove that the food you ate become contaminated at any stage during production, processing or cooking. For example, it can be contaminated by:
not cooking food thoroughly (particularly meat)
not correctly storing food that needs to be chilled at below 5C
leaving cooked food for too long at warm temperatures
not sufficiently reheating previously cooked food
someone who is ill or who has dirty hands touching the food
eating food that has passed its "use by" date
the spread of bacteria between contaminated foods (cross-contamination)
Whenever you buy a food or drink item, you are owed a duty of care by the supplier; whether it's a restaurant, café, food stand, hotel, supermarket, or corner shop - they must provide you with food or drink of satisfactory quality, and which is safe for you to consume.
There are various standards that must be met with all food products, particularly detailed under the Consumer Rights Act 2015, which sets out that goods and services must be of satisfactory quality, fit for purpose, and as described. The Food Standards Agency (FSA) estimates that about 2.4 million cases of foodborne illness occur every year in the UK and so, this is still very much a real issue.
Is food poisoning a serious illness?
If you are relatively healthy, food poisoning, whilst not being the nicest illness to suffer, should not cause you any more than a few days of illness, including sickness and diarrhoea. Many of the clients that our personal injury solicitors have won compensation for, as a result of food poisoning, recover at home and don't need any specific treatment, although there are some situations where you should see your GP for advice. If you have suffered the effects of food poisoning for more than two days, and have the evidence, to prove that the eating establishment caused you to be injured, for example, images of the undercooked chicken, seafood, or anything
else, then our personal injury solicitors can assist you to claim food poisoning compensation, on a No Win No Fee basis.
Our personal injury team have settled more food poisoning compensation claims for elderly people, and, at the other end of the spectrum, our younger clients. This is because food poisoning is especially serious and potentially life-threatening for young children, pregnant women and their fetuses, older adults, and people with
weakened immune systems. It is often the case that when elderly clients, or pregnant women approach our offices, after contracting food poisoning, that we find that they have eaten one or more of the following foods:
Raw or rare meat and poultry
Raw or undercooked fish or shellfish, including oysters, clams, mussels and
Raw or undercooked eggs or foods that may contain them
Raw sprouts, such as alfalfa, bean, clover, and radish sprouts
Unpasteurized juices and ciders
Unpasteurized milk and milk products
Soft cheeses, such as feta, Brie and Camembert; blue-veined cheese; and unpasteurized cheese
How long do I have to make a claim if I have had food poisoning?
Subject to the Limitation Act 1980, if you have suffered food poisoning, then this is classed as a form of personal injury, and you have three years to pursue a claim for compensation. There are exceptions, for those under 18 years old at the time of the injury, in that minors have three years from their 18th birthday within which to make a personal injury claim. Time limits may differ if you are acting on behalf of someone with limited mental capacity if you are acting as guardian or subject a lasting power of attorney. If you have any questions or queries, then please do not hesitate to contact one of MG Legal’s personal injury experts, here.
Other than compensation for being ill, what other types of loss can I claim for?
Food poisoning can often incur secondary losses, known as Special Damages. MG Legal’s expert personal injury solicitors will ensure that your claim is dealt with comprehensively so you are not out of pocket at the end of the case.
Special Damages often include:
• Lost Earnings
• Medical Expenses
• Transport Costs
• Care and Assistance Costs (including family or friends looking after your
• Refund of cost of your meal/food/hotel
• Mileage for Travel
• Diminution of value of holiday (if you get ill whilst staying away from home)
If you are unsure about any potential loss, speak to one of our specialist solicitors and they will advise on what evidence you will need to help recover the loss. If in doubt, hold on to any paperwork, receipts, emails, diaries or invoices and then provide these to our offices and we will endeavour to recover the full value of your loss.
Why choose MG Legal for a food and drink illness compensation claim?
MG Legal are experts in the personal injury field and our specialist solicitors deal with this type of claim every day. All claims accepted are handled on a No Win No Fee basis, at no financial risk to you and our success rate for obtaining compensation for our clients exceeds 99%. With MG Legal you are in safe hands and our down-to-earth approach to our clients is geared towards ensuring that you understand what is going on with your claim at all times and being confident that there is no firm better suited to your needs than MG Legal.
How much is food poisoning personal injury claim worth?
No two claims are identical, with overall awards comprising two separate elements, General and Special Damages. Special Damages are financial losses, whether in the form of additional expenditure for items such as medication or travel expenses or monies you lose out on such as lost earnings. These are calculated based either on receipts or invoices or evidence of past income in the case of earnings.
General Damages are your “personal injury compensation”, the monies that you are paid by the negligent party to compensate you for the period of illness and subsequent recovery. This can, again, vary from case to case dependent upon the severity of the illness, the length of time it takes to recover and the overall effect
upon your life. General Damages are based on the content of an expert medical report compiled by a doctor, in these cases often a Gastroenterologist. The report is then compared with the Judicial Studies Board Guidelines (JSB), a regularly updated book based on recent awards by the Court for all conceivably types of injury.
The JSB is to be found on the desk or in the briefcase of every Solicitor, Barrister and Judge who deals with personal injury. The JSB prescribes a range of awards:
Most serious illness includes severe toxicosis, causing severe acute pain, vomiting, diarrhoea and fever, requiring hospital admission for some days or weeks and some continuing incontinence, haemorrhoids and irritable bowel syndrome, having a significant impact on ability to work and enjoyment of life. This most severe bracket provides for awards between £36,060.00 and £49,270.00.
Serious but short lived food poisoning, diarrhoea and vomiting diminishing over two to four weeks with some remaining discomfort and disturbance of bowel function and sex life and enjoyment of food over a few years. Awards in this category can reach as high as £18,020.00.
Food poisoning causing significant discomfort, stomach cramps, alteration of bowel function and fatigue. Hospital admission for some days with symptoms lasting a few weeks but complete recovery within a year or two. Awards can reach £8,950.00.
Food poisoning causing varying degrees of disabling pain, cramps and diarrhoea continuing for some days or weeks, awards can reach as high as £3,710.00.
How do I start my claim?
Simply get in touch with MG Legal by phone, email or web-contact form and we will make sure you speak to a specialist personal injury solicitor straight away. We don’t operate via agents or a call centres and so, when you contact us, you speak directly to people who will be involved in your case. We have tailor-made claim forms for
every type of case to keep paperwork to a minimum and to ensure that from the start, we have the information we need from you.
We will have a clear, concise Client Care Letter sent out to you, setting out the claim and how we will run it so that you know exactly what to expect. We work hard for each client and because we work on a Conditional Fee (no win no fee) agreement, we ensure that every case that can be, is successful and our success rate of over 99% speaks for itself. Contact MG Legal, specialist food contamination personal injury solicitors today and we will get the ball rolling straight away.