Food Poisoning Claims in New South Wales
Have you ever looked at one of those roadside food vans or better yet a late night kebab shop and thought that a nice juicy kebab would be the perfect finish to your big night out? Perhaps you even indulged and paid the price the next day?
While it can be fun to blame a hangover on a dodgy kebab or that other perennial suspect …a bad prawn – food poisoning is actually no laughing matter.
Reports in the media include a food poisoning outbreak that affected upwards of 40 people who suffered salmonella poisoning after eating food prepared by a bakery in the southern Sydney suburb of Sylvania. This incident was one of a number of similar recent matters involving suburban bread shops selling prepared rolls.
However, the culprits are not always small food suppliers. The exclusive Langham Hotel in Melbourne was once thought to be the source of food borne illness after multiple people fell ill after eating High Tea at the luxury hotel.
The food poisoning was linked to raw eggs used in mayonnaise made at the hotel. Included in the group of people who fell ill was a mum to be who held her baby shower at the hotel. Unfortunately, the lady became so ill that she had to have her baby delivered early by caesarean section.
How common is food poisoning?
The NSW Food Authority estimates that 4.1 million Australians each year are affected by food poisoning (sometimes called foodborne illness). Of course, not all food poisoning results from the purchase of commercial food though and many of these cases arise as a result of poor food handling practices in the home.
What causes food poisoning?
Most food poisoning happens when pathogens (or nasty bugs to use a lay person’s term) get into food. This includes food poisoning caused by salmonella, E coli and listeria.
A third type of food poisoning is referred to as ‘intoxication’. Intoxication is caused by the toxins that are produced by certain bugs such as staphylococcus.
How is food poisoning spread?
Often poor food handling and hygiene practices result in the transfer of these bugs from person to person. Beware the chef who doesn’t wash their hands after visiting the bathroom or blows their nose and doesn’t wash their hands before touching food (YUCK!).
Food poisoning bugs can also be transferred via contaminated surfaces such as the use of the same cutting board for raw meat products and non-cooked foods.
What are the symptoms of food poisoning?
The symptoms of food poisoning can range from mildly unpleasant through to serious or even life threatening.
Not everyone will experience the same symptoms and some people, especially individuals with already compromised immune systems such as pregnant women, small children and the elderly may have more severe symptoms than others.
Symptoms that could suggest that you did indeed get a dodgy prawn and are not just suffering a hangover may include a combination of three or more of the following:
- Stomach cramps;
- Vomiting, nausea and/or loss of appetite;
- Feeling hot and sweaty/fever (usually mild);
- Headaches; and
- Feeling weak.
If you are suffering from a food borne illness it is important to ensure that you do not become dehydrated and maintaining a good fluid intake is essential in ensuring a full recovery. Always seek prompt medical attention if you think you may be suffering from food poisoning.
Am I entitled to compensation for food poisoning claims in New South Wales?
This is not a simple yes or no question.
Whether you will be entitled to make food poisoning claims in New South Wales and claim compensation will depend firstly on the severity of any illness you suffered and secondly the extent to which your life has been impacted as a result of the food poisoning.
If you just felt a bit ordinary for a day or so and then life has gone back to business as usual the answer is likely to be no. However, if the illness was severe and you suffered loss and damage including lost wages, time off work and ongoing health problems as a result of the food poisoning, then it’s possible you may have food poisoning claims in New South Wales.
What to do if you think you may have a food poisoning claim in New South Wales?
If you think you may be entitled to make food poisoning claims in New South Wales for loss arising out of food poisoning we would be happy to meet with you and discuss your situation. One of our experienced NSW compensation lawyers will be able to take a history of your matter and discuss the steps we will need to take to bring a claim on your behalf.