Food Poisoning and Contamination Claims
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, will have your claim started straight away.
What other types of foodbourne illness or poisoning injury claims do MG Legal specialise in?
What is food poisoning?
Food poisoning, also sometimes called foodborne illness, is illness caused when we eat 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 the 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.
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 a 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-
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 a 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 a 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.
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 depends on the source of the infection, 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)
• stomach cramps
• a high temperature of 38C or above
• feeling generally unwell – such as feeling tired or having aches and chills
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 for 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.
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 client's 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 scallops
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
Other then 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. See a full overview of general and special damages, here.
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.
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 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.
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.