What Steps Can I take to Avoid Food Poisoning in a Restaurant or Takeaway?
The American Centre for Disease Control and Prevention indicated that each year almost 1 in 6 Americans- ie 48 million people suffer from food poisoning.
128,000 are hospitalised and 3000 die of food borne diseases such as viruses bacteria and parasites.
There is no precise figure for the UK but there is no reason to doubt that given the similar food chain and lifestyle the amount of people affected will be similar.
So the question of how to avoid this- or take reasonable steps to do so is critical.
How Can I avoid Food Poisoning?
The first thing is to keep matters in perspective. A lot of bacteria can be dealt with by healthy people- though less robust may have difficulty.
However there are certain signs to look out for:
- If in a sandwich shop a person is not wearing gloves then think twice about ordering a sandwich
- If a beefburger or hamburger is bright red in the middle this should set warning bells sounding- beef burgers are generally mixed from meat from a range of cows so the possible bacterial infection is higher if it is not properly cooked (a single source rare steaks is of course less risky for the same reasons)
- Be aware in restaurants- look out for poor standards of cleanliness. Bear in mind that if there is a poor standard on view to the public then the likelihood of even worse standards behind in the kitchen and other food preparation areas are likely to be even worse.
- Check especially for hot food that has been left out cooling. This is described by experts as the ‘danger zone’ as is it provides the perfect environment for bacteria to replicate
- Check also for cold food being warm- if a salad is not displayed in a chiller or with ice under it there may be problems being generated.
- Keep an eye out for the health of restaurant and fast food outlet employees. We all have seen visibly unwell workers handling food. The underlying problem here is that if workers are not paid for being off they are likely to come into work even if they are unwell
The Truth About Food Poisoning
Who Is Most At Risk From Food Poisoning?
Experts recommend that extra caution needs to be taken with young children, pregnant women and those with immune deficiencies- as well as those who have specific food allergies and intolerances
Should be Be Paranoid about Food Poisoning Risks?
Prudence is a better way of dealing with the risks of food poisoning than being paranoid. The key thing is to reduce the risk where you have the opportunity to do so. Being aware of some of the issues set out above is the place to start.
What Should I do If I think I have suffered from Food Poisoning?
You should contact a qualified and experienced Solicitor. Food poisoning claims are often difficult to prove and you should not delay in getting legal advice to ensure evidence is retained where possible.