Whether you eat to live or live to eat food, it is essential for life to exist. Whatever we choose to eat every day of our lives, we must ensure that it is as free from bacterial contamination as possible as the human stomach is only capable of tolerating relatively low levels of harmful bacteria within it compared to other mammals. This is why food intended for human consumption must be prepared with the utmost care and attention in order to prevent the risk of the development of potentially very serious illness. If you have good reason to believe that you have contracted a gastrointestinal illness as the result of eating contaminated food purchased from any establishment that sells food or prepares food to be eaten in places such as a restaurant or cafe then you may be eligible for compensation.
Sources of possible Contamination
For most of us, food purchased from supermarkets accounts for the vast majority of the food we eat. Some of us also shop at small local businesses like butchers and greengrocers, although this is admittedly to a much lesser extent because of the dominance of the supermarkets. Millions of people in the UK also eat out at restaurants and in cafes where they must hope those cooking and preparing the food they will be eating possess the knowledge and skills necessary to ensure their safety.
Wherever we buy the food we eat, or where we choose to eat out, we need to be sure that what we consume is fresh and as free from contaminants as possible and prepared properly. They also need to reach the correct hygiene standards to be sure that we won’t be made ill by eating there. If food suppliers such as these fail to adhere to such standards, they could be liable to pay damages to consumers who have become victims of contaminated food poisoning who could be eligible for compensation.
Causes of Food Contamination
Food Poisoning is by far the most common manifestation of illness which is usually caused by food being infected with at least one of various different harmful bacteria. Some of the bacteria that cause food poisoning are E-coli, Listeria, Salmonella, Norovirus and Botulism-which comes from the improper canning and preservation of foods.
One scenario which can facilitate the onset of food becoming unfit for consumption may be within an environment in which food is being prepared in large quantities on an industrial scale. Those preparing the food may be working to a deadline which may, in turn, cause them to take short cuts regarding hygiene and, as a consequence, severely increase the potential risk of cross-contamination.
Some types of food are considered high risk, such as dishes containing Mayonnaise, which may spoil quickly. Foods such as these are considered high-risk because they are ideal environments for the generation and propagation of bacteria. The undercooking of high-risk foods such as white meat will not kill the bacteria, meaning the risk of contracting food poisoning will be dramatically increased.
Failure by those preparing the food to adequately clean and disinfect everything that has come into contact with raw meat is a common cause of infection. Irregular hand-washing after handling products such as raw chicken and the incorrect storage of uncooked meat products also rank highly as reasons for people becoming victims of food poisoning.
Symptoms of Food Poisoning
The results of eating food containing any of these harmful bacteria can be extremely unpleasant and dangerous for the infected victim. Symptoms are broadly flu-like in character accompanied by diarrhoea, vomiting and stomach cramps. This can last for several days and even longer and take long periods of time to recover from fully. In the most severe cases, food poisoning can also be fatal.
The incubation period for the bacteria that causes food poisoning can be several days, meaning that the tracing of the source of the infection can prove to be extremely difficult. This may be because the infected person may be unable to remember what they had eaten in the days prior to feeling unwell. Even if the victim can remember everything they have eaten in the days before they started to feel ill, they may simply find it impossible to determine exactly what food product it was that had infected them.
Tylers are here to help
The Food Standards Agency (FSA) is the relevant government department in the UK charged with the protection of public health concerning food safety and hygiene. Governments have also legislated in recent years to ensure that the food industry in the UK is adequately regulated to ensure the maintenance of public health. Amongst the existing Acts of Parliament which also apply to food safety are The Sale of Goods Act (1979) and The Consumer Protection Act (1987).
The provisions contained within these Acts state that you may be able to claim compensation if any food you buy turns out to be contaminated either by bacteria or by foreign objects such as glass or metal. If you have suffered food poisoning or injury as a result of eating contaminated food bought from a supermarket, or eaten at a restaurant, cafe or takeaway, then you may be entitled to compensation under the provisions of these Acts. The law is on your side and so are Tylers Solicitors, our expert team of lawyers will look at your case and help you get the compensation you deserve.
If you have suffered as a result of food contamination then you may be able to make a claim. Call Tylers today on (freephone): 0800 699 0079 to see if you can make a claim today.