Can you claim compensation as a result of food contamination?
Posted on 14th September 2019
If you find yourself sat in a hospital bed it is not, usually, for a pleasant reason. Whether it be a broken arm or a broken leg, even our solicitors in Preston, not being medically minded, know that it is not the hospital cuisine that is going to send you on the road to recovery. With the NHS serving over 140 million meals to patients across the country each year, safety needs to be of the utmost importance. If food hygiene standards are inadequate, hospitals run the risk of potentially worsening a patient’s condition, as opposed to aiding their recovery.
MG Legal’s solicitors in Preston deal with claims as a result of food contamination on a daily basis. Our team of expert personal injury solicitors trawl through thousands of medical records and read innumerable medical reports on a yearly basis, and are, therefore, aware that there are a number of factors that can contribute to food products becoming contaminated and potentially dangerous. If certain food products are not prepared and sorted correctly, this can lead to complications and illness caused by harmful bacterium. Such matters can give rise to claims for personal injury, for which our solicitors in Preston and Lancaster, are on hand to assist with.
Listeria is just one form of harmful bacteria, that can lead to an illness called listeriosis. Listeriosis is usually contracted by consuming foods borne with the bacteria and is commonly found amongst dairy products, pate and pre-packaged products like sandwiches, as examples.
Listeriosis usually causes sufferers to display symptoms such as sickness, chills and high temperatures. The illness can, however, be more severe and particularly problematic in pregnant women and those who are vulnerable with weak immune systems. Where might we find such individuals? You guessed it, in our hospitals, which has brought our solicitors in Preston to the current issue listeria is currently causing within our hospitals across the UK.
The Food Standards Agency explain Listeria in more detail, follow the link for more information and advice: https://www.food.gov.uk/safety-hygiene/listeria.
The NHS currently has 7 of it’s Trusts dealing with cases of listeria, which has tragically resulted in 5 deaths across the UK. The deaths have been linked to pre-packaged sandwiches and salads, that have been supplied to various hospitals by the ‘Good Food’ chain. The Good Food chain serves 43 NHS Trusts across the UK, and their products have now been withdrawn from the hospitals. The company has also ceased production, however, as listeria has an incubation period of approximately 70 days, our solicitors in Preston fear, there may be more disaster to come.
The outbreak has been nothing less than tragic and, with a total of 8 hospitals being affected at present, the Health Secretary Matt Hancock, has ordered a review into hospital food.
To add insult to injury, quite literally, it has transpired that there was, in fact, a warning issued in relation to such products seven years ago. In February 2012, Jim Winship, the Director of the British Sandwich Association, recommended that hospitals should not give these products to vulnerable patients, due to the food poisoning risks they naturally bring, without a doctor’s prior approval.
In 2016, this was addressed and the Food Standards Agency suggested that these products could be given to patients without medical approval. This conclusion was formed on the basis of certain practices that hospitals could implement, in order to manage and reduce the potential risks involved.
MPs, however, are of a different view altogether. Recent suggestions have been made by various members of Parliament, that such recommendations were only made in attempts to cut costs within the NHS. MPs have gone on to question why vulnerable patients have been served food which is a known risk. The theory is that, healthcare professionals, above any, should know the risks listeria can bring and, therefore, should be actively working to avoid the same.
As of 23rd August, 2019, the government has announced there is to be a hospital food review in which the they will work closely with the NHS to supply safe, nutritious and tasty food. The review follows the listeria outbreak and aims to reinstate public confidence, as well as improving standards throughout the NHS. The PM, Boris Johnson, goes on to comment that this will ‘not only aid patient recovery, but also fuel staff and visitors as they care for their loved ones and the vulnerable”. The review is to look to new systems on food safety and how the same can be monitored and is also seeking the assistance of national bodies, such as the National Caterers Association to shift the reliance we currently have on frozen and pre-packaged goods.
Sadly, our solicitors in Preston do continue to face such claims that have resulted in our clients suffering. If, therefore, you have been victim of illness, by failings to ensure the foods you are consuming are safe, contact MG Legal’s solicitors in Preston today. Our team of specialist personal injury solicitors, would be delighted to assist you in obtaining the compensation you deserve. Get in touch today at firstname.lastname@example.org.
For more information of claims for personal injury, as a result of food poisoning, see our blog on such claims: https://www.mglegal.co.uk/legal-news/food-poisoning-claims-as-a-result-of-poor-hygiene-standards/.
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