Unfortunately, food poisoning is a fairly common occurrence. In most cases, the food is contaminated by bacteria, such as Escherichia coli (E. coli), salmonella or a virus, such as the norovirus. Symptoms typically begin within one or two days although they can start within a matter of hours after eating contaminated food or as late as a week afterwards. The range of severity of symptoms is wide, with some serious cases having permanent effects while more minor cases can include symptoms of nausea, abdominal pain, vomiting, diarrhoea, loss of appetite, fever, aching muscles and weakness.

Food can become contaminated at any stage during production, processing or cooking. Foods that are particularly susceptible to contamination if not handled, cooked or stored properly include; ready-to-eat foods (such as pate, soft cheeses and pre-packed sandwiches), raw meat, raw poultry or raw shellfish.

If a person has suffered from food poisoning whilst eating out, for example in restaurants, cafes, hotels or whilst on holiday abroad or on a cruise ship, they may be entitled to bring a claim for compensation against the insurers of the food retailer or tour operator.

In such cases the food retailer and supplier are strictly required to provide products which are free from the bacteria which may cause food poisoning. This means that if you are able to establish the source of the infection, then you do not have to prove there was any negligence involved. It is only necessary to prove that the food was not safe; that you have been made ill and that the cause of the symptoms you are suffering was the infected food.

I am currently representing a large group (including the groom) that suffered food poisoning after eating contaminated food at a wedding.