By Danielle Nicholson. Last Updated 20th September 2023. Have you suffered from food poisoning due to the negligence of a third party? And can you prove that the food poisoning had a detrimental effect on your life, possibly for the long-term? If the answer to each of these questions is “yes”, then this guide is just for you. We’re covering important aspects of filing a compensation claim due to a victim suffering from food poisoning. Along the way, we handle a sample case study with one such victim receiving a settlement of £14,500.
Now, you can browse each of the sections by using the list of headings below. But you can also speak to our friendly team at any time. And this could put you into contact with our panel of personal injury solicitors, as they could handle your case. To get in touch, you can call 0161 696 9685, complete the contact form or leave us a message via our Live Chat.
Choose A Section
- Am I Eligible To Make A Claim For Food Poisoning Compensation?
- Food Poisoning Compensation – Time Limits
- When Could You Suffer Food Poisoning?
- Do I Need Evidence To Claim Compensation For Food Poisoning?
- Food Poisoning Compensation – How Much For My Pain And Suffering?
- Case Study: £14,500 For Food Poisoning
- Food Poisoning Claims With A No Win No Fee Solicitor
You must meet certain eligibility criteria in order to claim for food poisoning. You must have evidence that proves:
- You were owed a duty of care.
- This duty was breached.
- As a result of this breach, you suffered food poisoning.
Restaurants and similar establishments owe their customers a duty of care. This is set by the Occupiers’ Liability Act 1957 as the party in control of the space must ensure your reasonable safety. Should you develop food poisoning because this duty wasn’t adhered to, you might be eligible for food poisoning compensation.
For example, the Food Standards Agency recommends certain types of meat are cooked thoroughly, and their juices run clear before being served. If a restaurant serves poultry that is still pink inside, this could be a breach of their duty of care. Should you develop food poisoning as a result, you might be eligible for compensation. The Food Standards Agency is an independent government department that protects public health in relation to food.
To find out if you are eligible to make a food poisoning claim, get in touch with one of our advisors.
Food poisoning claims must be started within the personal injury claims time limit. This is generally three years from the date of the food poisoning or the date it could be connected to negligence as set by the Limitation Act 1980. However, there are circumstances that will suspend the personal injury claims time limit. These include:
- If a person under the age of 18 suffers food poisoning, the time limit is suspended until their 18th birthday. However, while the food poisoning claims time limit is suspended, a litigation friend could be appointed to start a claim for food poisoning compensation on their behalf.
- When a person lacks the mental capacity to start a claim for food poisoning compensation themselves, the time limit is suspended indefinitely. A litigation friend can sue for food poisoning on their behalf at any point during the time limit’s suspension. However, should the injured party regain their mental capacity, the time limit begins.
You could sue for food poisoning if it was caused by negligence and you start your claim within the time limit. Call our advisors to learn more about time limits in food poisoning claims.
If you are seeking compensation for food poisoning, you must be able to demonstrate that a party breached their duty of care and this resulted in your illness. This could occur in lots of different ways.
Examples of how food poisoning could occur include:
- Undercooked food. Thoroughly cooking food can kill harmful bacteria. Food should be cooked at the right temperature and for the correct amount of time.
- Improper chilling. Chilling foods can prevent bacteria from growing. Additionally, some foods need to be kept chilled to keep them safe, such as foods with a use-by date and prepared foods, like salads and desserts.
- Cross-contamination. This occurs when bacteria spreads between food and surfaces. For example, raw meat could drip onto an unwrapped dessert in the fridge resulting in the bacteria from the meat contaminating the dessert. Raw meat should be kept on a lower shelf to prevent this. Additionally, failing to wash hands after handling raw meat can spread bacteria.
- Poor kitchen hygiene. Effective cleaning practices can prevent bacteria from spreading. For example, work surfaces should be cleaned and disinfected between different tasks, such as handling raw meat and then preparing a salad.
To discuss food poisoning claims and the incident that led to your illness, get in touch with an advisor from our team.
One of the most important steps in the food poisoning claims process is gathering evidence. Evidence is crucial, as it can help prove different areas of your claim, including who is liable for your illness, how it occurred, and how severe it is.
Some examples of evidence that you could collect to prove a claim for compensation for food poisoning include:
- Photographs: Taking photographs of the unsanitary conditions or any visible symptoms you are suffering could support a claim for food poisoning.
- Medical records: Your medical records may also be able to illustrate the severity of your food poisoning and the treatment you received. Similarly, if you choose to work with a solicitor, they may arrange for you to undergo an independent medical assessment.
- Witness statements: While you cannot collect these statements yourself, you can take the contact details of anyone who witnessed the circumstances leading up to the food poisoning or the effect it had on you. Then, a professional can take their statements at a later date.
One of the many benefits of working with a solicitor on your claim is that they can help you gather evidence. They can talk to witnesses on your behalf, arrange an independent medical assessment, and help source other useful evidence.
To find out if you could be eligible to work with a solicitor from our panel, contact our team of advisors today.
While you should not treat them as fixed compensation figures for injuries, we can show you examples of general damages for a food poisoning claim. General damages cover the pain and suffering you experienced as a result of the food poisoning.
The food poisoning injuries in the table and associated figures are taken from the 16th edition of the Judicial College Guidelines (JCG), updated in 2022. These are guidelines only, and not guarantees.
|Non-traumatic Digestive System Illness Or Injury (i)||For severe cases of toxicosis, that could cause vomiting, fevers, diarrhea and require a hospital stay||£38,430 to
|Non-traumatic Digestive System Illness Or Injury (ii)||Serious cases of food poisioning with vomiting and diarrhea that could last over weeks. Symptoms could last for years||£9,540 to
|Non-traumatic Digestive System Illness Or Injury (iii)||Food poisoning causing cramps, bowel problems and fatigue. Effect could last over weeks but the person will recover||£3,950 to
|Non-traumatic Digestive System Illness Or Injury (iv)||Food poisoning that causes cramps and bowel problems over weeks||Up to £3,950
What Are Special Damages?
Special damages can potentially cover the subsequent financial consequences of your suffering from food poisoning. Any time off work without sick pay is a key example. Other elements may be medical expenses, as well as the costs of using public transport for hospital visits. And it could be that, in a severe case, you require aftercare to look after you while you recover.
The value of the special damages could vary depending on how badly you’ve been impacted by food poisoning. And we should also note that, where applicable, you should try to produce receipts and invoices for each element. Doing so could only support the strength of your case for food poisoning compensation. If you want to ask any questions about special damages, simply telephone us by using the number on top.
Mr Carden, 32, worked in finance. On his evenings and weekends, he also contributed to a website where he reviewed various things. These included reviewing meals at restaurants of all sizes and styles. So, Mr Carden could tell when a meal was to a high standard and when it wasn’t. Even so, he wasn’t prepared for one dish that had terrible consequences.
One weekend, Mr Carden and his wife ate out at a well-known restaurant in the capital. The couple were sampling shellfish, with a new variance having been added to the menu. But within a few hours of eating the shellfish, Mr Carden began to feel unwell. He was experiencing headaches as well as having abdominal pain and feeling nauseous. By the end of the day, he was also experiencing diarrhoea.
Come the following morning, Mr Carden had begun vomiting, and his other physical pains left him bed-ridden at home. His wife called for an ambulance, and he was taken into hospital. Mr Carden still felt he’d be okay in due course, but this wasn’t the case. He ended up having to stay in hospital for several weeks.
The impact of the food poisoning had left him with some lasting effects. Mr Carden still had bowel issues which remained with him for a good while. There was also a long-term impact on his sexual functions, thus hindering his sex life. And Mr Carden also questioned whether he could enjoy specific foods moving forward, despite having reviewed many dishes for numerous years. This led to him hiring a dietitian to ensure he could eat with safety and enjoyment in the future.
In the aftermath, Mr Carden conducted some research. He realised that his problems stemmed from the shellfish, but there was more to it than that. Mr Carden learned that others had also complained about suffering food poisoning at the restaurant. What’s more, a quick online search provided evidence of the establishment failing a health and safety check just weeks earlier. That they remained open at all was shocking given what he had learned and what he himself had gone through.
So, after speaking with a personal injury solicitor, it didn’t take Mr Carden long to take legal action. He filed a claim against the restaurant based on their negligence causing him to suffer food poisoning. Mr Carden received £14,500 in compensation: £9,950 was in general damages, and the other £4,550 was in special damages.
|Type Of Special Damages||Includes:||How Much?|
|Lost Earnings||Lost earnings during his month off work||£3,000|
|Medical Costs||Costs of medication during his recovery||£100|
|Transport Costs||Costs of using public transport for hospital visits||£100|
|Dietitian Costs||Costs of hiring a dietitian to help him to alter his diet during recovery||£500|
|Other Costs||Additional costs of him suffering food poisoning||£250|
|Carer costs||Wife took time away from work||£600|
We should point out that this is not a real story. It should be used solely as a guide for what could transpire if someone suffers food poisoning.
If you are making a food poisoning claim, then you could choose to seek legal representation from a solicitor who has experience with this type of case. One of the solicitors on our panel could help you with making your claim if you have a strong claim.
Furthermore, they may offer to work with you on a No Win No Fee basis with a Conditional Fee Agreement (CFA). If you work with a No Win No Fee solicitor, you will not be required to pay any legal fees upfront. You also won’t need to pay any fees while your case is being processed. If your claim is unsuccessful, then you won’t need to pay for their services.
A success fee is subtracted from the compensation awarded to you if your claim is successful. This is a legally capped percentage of your compensation that is taken by the No Win No Fee solicitor supporting your case.
For more advice on making food poisoning claims with a No Win No Fee solicitor, you can contact our team:
More Resources And Guides On Food Poisoning
This guide has been covering all aspects of compensation claims in the aftermath of food poisoning. But maybe you wish to know more information about this topic. That’s why we have a list of additional research links for you to check out.
We also go into further detail on compensation settlement estimates.
On that note, we break down compensation calculators as a whole.
The NHS website also has a page covering food poisoning in great depth.
They explain poisoning in general,
And the Food Standards Agency discusses how you can report food poisoning.