Author Archives: francisoneill

Top Tips to Avoid Valentine’s Day Food Poisoning

How To Have a Safe and Healthy Valentine’s Day Meal Out

Recent statistics from the US suggest that up to 65% of all food poisoning outbreaks can be traced back ultimately to food which has been prepared in a restaurant.

So this Valentine’s Night when having that special meal you may wish to take some basic precautions to avoid unnecessary food poisoning difficulties.

First tip is to check out the hygiene and safety certificates which (if there has been an inspection) will be normally proudly on display. Whilst not critical these are a good indicator that the restaurant owner takes food hygiene seriously and has it as a high priority.

Secondly- and linked to this- is to check that the glasses and cutlery (as well as the tablecloth) are clean and presentable. Again, even the best eating places can have lapses but these first impressions are critical.

Thirdly– and this is for those who have to check out dietary requirements strictly – such as those diagnosed as coeliac- do have a look at the mandatory list of allergens which should help you choose from the menu. Any restaurant which has not taken their responsibilities seriously in this regard should be treated with extreme caution.

(As a Firm of Solicitors who specialise in food poisoning claims – and Coeliac Claims in particular- we are constantly surprised (and disappointed) at how many restaurant owners see gluten intolerance as a fad and not a serious medical condition which requires careful dietary monitoring).

Fourthly, check the food is thoroughly cooked. There are of course recipes that are based on undercooking for flavour- such as steak etc- but any dish where this is not specified and is undercooked should be treated with suspicion

Fifthly, if you are taking home food in a doggy back make sure that you get it to the fridge within a couple of hours maximum. If you are unable to get it home and refrigerated in that time please leave the food at the restaurant.

Finally, if despite the precautions you may have taken above you may have suffered food poisoning and wish to bring a claim please do not hesitate to contact us on 01535958778 or 07821809843 for free no obligation confidential advice from a specialist firm of Food Poisoning Solicitors

Jeremy Corbyn Suggests Failing Nursing Homes Be Taken Into Public Ownership

Labour Leader Jeremy Corbyn has recently suggested that failing Nursing Homes should be taken into public ownership

The suggestion was made in the context of the growing concerns from both Local Authorities and the NHS about Social Care provision for elderly and infirm members of the community.

The speech was made to the Fabian Society and Mr Corbyn said the present social care system is at risk of breakdown unless the Government invests more money in the sector

He also pointed out recent figures from the Care Quality Commission which found that in the last year one in five nursing homes simply did not have enough staff on duty to ensure that residents obtained the care and attention which they needed.

As a result of this analysis Mr Corbyn indicated that if a Care Home failed in the future leaving residents at risk of being homeless then he said a future Labour Government would take failed care homes into public ownership to maintain social care protection.

If you have concerns about the care offered to a loved one in a care or nursing home please contact us. We are specialist Solicitors in this area and ofer for free confidential no obligation advice on 01535958778 or 07821809843.

Can Badly Cooked Rice Cause Food Poisoning?

Recent expert advice indicates that badly cooked rice can cause food poisoning – the tests found traces of arsenic – a substance lethal to humans potentially causing heart disease diabetes and cancer

The problem seems to emanate from the way the rice is grown- using pesticides and other chemicals which can be released in harmful doses on cooking- although a small amount of arsenic occurs naturally in rice anyway.

The safest way to cook the rice seems to be by adding a lot more water than most of us do currently. It appears that if you add five times the ratio of water to the rice and then wash off the excess water about half of the arsenic levels result

And an even safer way to prepare the rice is to leave the rice soaking overnight in cold water- which results in 80% of the toxins being removed.

Apart from domestic cooking this advice is something that restaurant owners need to take on board to ensure that the product offered to diners is as safe as possible


Bradford Home Care System ‘On Brink of Collapse’ says Councillor

The Council services offering home support to the elderly and vulnerable are on the brink of collapse according to a Bradford Councillor, Jackie Whiteley

The claim came when a major firm decided to pull its services from Bradford district indicating the hourly rates paid by the Council were too low.

The Care provider Seva Care told Bradford Telegraph and Argus that the Council rates fell below national guidelines

This is the second care provider to leave the Bradford District after Hica Care withdrew last year.

The Council Deputy Leader Val Slater accused Mrs Whiteley of scaremongering and said that the new social care levy on council tax would raise a further £3 million for the district which would be used in full to raise the hourly carer rate.

Whatever the truth of the dispute the fact remains that if too few carers are offered to vulnerable groups the prospect of care being insufficient and negligent is high.

Further details can be found at /

Food Poisoning on Dream Holiday Couple to Claim Compensation.

A couple who went on what they described as a dream holiday to Mexico suffered food poisoning and are bringing a claim for compensation.

The couple went on a Thomas Cook Holiday to Mexico in May to celebrate their first wedding anniversary.

They claim they were served raw chicken from the hotel buffet and Mr Burke then alleges that he immediately fell ill with vomiting and diarrhoea. He then had an intensive period of stomach pains and flu like symptoms

He says as a result he lost nearly half a stone in weight.

Further details can be found at this address: .html

Comment on This Case: This case demonstrates that poorly cooked food can have a devastating effect on health and in this case if the holiday was ruined the couple can claim for the cost of the holiday as well as the compensation for the personal injury to the digestive system Mr Burke sustained.

If you have any queries about bringing a claim for food poisoning please ring for confidential no obligation advice on 01535958778 or 07821809843 (out of hours)

Man Injured After being Hit by Bike Thieves

Man Who Tried to Stop Workplace Robbery Injured

A man who tried to stop his workmate’s bike from being stolen suffered serious injuries.

Craig Morrell was thrown in the air after being struck by the bonnet of a car accelerating away from the scene

The incident happened at Swanglen Metals in Castlefields Lane Crossflatts.

Mr Morrell suffered a badly damaged vertebrae and broken finger. The event was captured on CCTV

It seems that the thieves reversed into the premises with a view to putting the two bikes into their van

Mr Morrell’s attempts to stop them led to the van being driven at speed causing the injuries.

The Police as continuing their enquiries to find the thieves.

Note on this Case: If you are injured in a crime your are entitled to claim compensation under the Criminal Injuries Compensation Scheme. If you need further information on this please do not hesitate to contact us on 01535958778 or 07821809843 (out of hours)

Keighley Care Home to Take Action to Improve

A Keighley care home which was judged as having to improve by the independent regulator the Care Quality Commission has said that they have put plans in place to tackle the issues raised by the review.

The Housing and Care 21 scheme is based at Staveley Court in Ingrow received a recent rating saying that they should make improvements.

The main areas which required to be improved were record keeping and the administration of medicines. The staff assist residents in their medication in some cases.

The report did say that the staff provided a good level of care but there was room for improvement.

The Housing and Care 21 management said that schemes were in place to implement new and improved systems.

Shocking Inspection Report Leads to Care Home being Forced to Close

A Care Home for elderly residents in North Shields has been forced to close following two highly critical reports by the Care Quality Commission in quick succession in August 2015 and then October 2015

The Care Home- Cleveland Park in North Shields run by Orchard Care Homes Ltd- was described as smelling of stale urine and faeces in October 2015.

Not surprisingly the risks to vulnerable residents were identified as too great for the Home to continue to operate and it was closed down causing disruption to the 52 residents who are now being helped to find alternative accommodation by the Local Authority in North Tyneside.

The inspection in August 2015 flagged up serious concerns about the care being offered to the residents but by the time of further inspection in October very little if anything had changed for the better.

The Care Quality Commission have a number of key areas of inspection:

  1. Is the service safe?
  2. Is the service effective?
  3. Is the service caring and responsive?
  4. Is the service well led?

On ALL of these areas of inspection the care home was deemed INADEQUATE.

This level of criticism has happened to care homes before but it is extremely rare and is very worrying for three main reasons:

Orchard Care Homes Ltd runs nearly 80 other UK Care Homes – is to be hoped that this is a one off as far as that company is concerned

It is extremely worrying that the management did not take immediate action following the earlier inspection in August to address the serious failings identified

The residents who are now been relocated in other care homes in the area have suffered twice -both from the appalling care they seem to have received at Cleveland Park but also because the disruption of moving at this stage of life is so much more difficult to deal with.

It is to be hoped that Orchard Care Homes Limited carry out an urgent review of their other care homes to ensure that this is not a more widespread problem

The reports from local media can be found at

and the Care Quality Commission report itself at