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Food Poisoning Claims

What is Food Poisoning?

Food poisoning can happen when a person eats contaminated food – the contamination is usually a bacteria such as salmonella, E. Coli or the norovirus (winter vomiting bug). Food poising can have some nasty effects on the body such as –

  • Uncontrollable vomiting
  • Nausea
  • Diarrhoea
  • Cramps
  • High Temperature
  • Aches
  • Chills

Food Poisoning Bacteria & Viruses?

Food poisoning isn’t necessarily the same in every case. There are a range of viruses or bacteria that can affect somebody dependant on the food eaten and the way it was prepared.

Salmonella: Salmonella comes mostly from poor prepared eggs, poultry, meat or contaminated raw fruit and vegetables. Usually Salmonella lasts anywhere between 4 to 7 days and can cause diarrhoea, fevers, abdominal cramps and vomiting. Complications can arise if the problem spreads to the intestines which would require medical attention but this is rare.

Norovirus (Norwalk Virus): Norovirus is an easy to spread illness otherwise known as gastroenteritis and is borne from shellfish, fresh produce, ready to eat foods like salads and sandwiches. Responsible for around 314,000 food poisoning cases in the UK in recent years it usually lasting 1 to 3 days it is most common in crowded, closed environments like hospitals, nursing homes and schools.

Campylobacter: Campylobacter is a result of raw and undercooked poultry dishes, unpasturized milk and contaiminated water. Usually lasting 2 – 10 days, sufferers will usually experience symptoms including diarrhoea, cramps and fevers. Reported to cause more thsan 100 deaths per year and costing the UK £900 million per year, campylobacter can be a very serious illness.

E.Coli: E.Coli is a bacteria which lives inside the intestines of humans and animals. There are more than one type of E.Coli, some of which are harmless, some can make you feel very ill. E.Coli types are distinguished using a medical code, the worst E.Coli for example is known as E.Coli O157:H7 which can cause kidney failure. Found in contaimined food like uncooked meats, raw milk and juice, soft cheeses made from raw milk and raw fruit and veg, E.Coli can last anywhere between 5 – 10 days with the less severe E.Coli infections.

Listeria: Listeria is also bacteria, normally found in soil, water and some animals. It can grow in temperatures other bacteria will struggle to numerate in. It can even survive inside a fridge. Treatment of listeria is done by cooking and pasteurization. Found in ready to eat meats like hotdogs, refrigerated pates, spreads, raw dairy products, soft cheeses and refrigerated smoked seafood; sufferers can experience symptoms for around for a few weeks. Common symptoms include fevers, weakness, vomiting, diarrhoea and stiffness. Listeria is a growing concern in the UK, from a reported 114 cases to 234 per year between 2000 and 2009, it costs the UK economy on average £245 million per year.

Clostridium perfringens: Often shortened to C. perfringens, this is a bacteria in which the spores will grow and produce new cells.  They grow fastest at room temperature but will stop production of new cells at refrigerator temperatures.  Often found in the mass production of food which is kept warm for a long time. Occasions like a self serve kitchen, hotels and catered events are where this bacterium thrives. Commonly found in beef, poultry and gravies, C. perfringens lasts usually under 24 hours (very severe cases can however last weeks), sufferers may experience diarrhoea and abdominal cramps.

Can I claim for getting food poisoning?

If you’ve suffered from food poisoning after eating contaminated food you may be able to claim compensation for the pain, suffering and financial losses received as a result. As with any personal injury claim the most helpful factor in the success of the claim is proving liability – you can help your cases by seeking medical help as soon as possible, notifying the Food Standards Regulations Authority and keeping receipts that prove you had ordered the food from the particular cafe or restaurant. It can also be of great help to keep a record of financial losses such as time off work or cancelled holidays.

How to start your claim

It is best to start your claim at the earliest convenience as it can affect the success of the claim and it makes investigations and medical reports easier. If you’ve had food poisoning give Scott Rees & Co a call and speak with one of our friendly advisors who will be able to explain the next steps and how we can help.

To start your application you can fill in the claim form or call us and a member of our team will get in touch with you straight away.

Food Poisoning Case Study

2009-Client suffered Salmonella positioning from restaurant- £1500

The client was shopping within the city centre where she stopped at a food court and selected one of the restaurants to eat at. Later that evening in bed the client began to feel very ill and began vomiting. She suffered vomiting and diarrhoea for 4 days before going to the hospital where she was diagnosed with a bad case of Samonella. Rather than being an isolated incident she found that the same restaurant had caused 4 other people in a short time to also suffer the same illness.

Her case of Samonella was quite severe as she was bedridden for a period of weeks, requiring starting her university course a month later to leave time to alleviate the symptoms. She did however suffer longer lasting damage as the lining of her stomach was damaged. She was unable to participate in sports as she unfortunately fainted after participating in an activity and feeling ill over 6 weeks after the incident.

Scott Rees were compelled to help the client in this case as this goes beyond the normal realms of food poisoning cases. The restaurant in question has since been investigated and ordered to completely review their processes while being consistently reviewed to ensure they fulfil these obligations. The client in this case suffered severe damage from food poisoning that has affected her life at the beginning of what should be a fun period that is starting university life. After advising her on the best course of action the restaurant was willing to settle the case with £1,500 awarded in damages to the client.

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