Most of us love a takeaway at the end of a busy week, as a treat after payday or when we’re too tired to cook. The trusted local fish and chip shop is a godsend for busy mums looking to feed their kids freshly battered fish, sausages or pies, and when we buy food from the chip shop we expect that it will be fresh and safe to eat, not to mention convenient to collect and take home. Any establishment serving food to the public has to adhere to food hygiene standards, and takeaways are no different. It’s important for the owners to identify and address any areas in the business where there is the risk of contamination, in order to protect the public.
If you have suffered from food poisoning from fish and chips, then you might want to let the fish and chip shop in question know, so that they can take steps to prevent anybody else from becoming ill. The Consumer Rights Act (which came into force on 1st October 2015) states that ‘food should have been produced with reasonable skill and care, be of satisfactory quality and fit for purpose‘. If you have become ill and feel that a takeaway has failed to meet these standards, you could be entitled to make a claim for personal injury compensation.
What are the symptoms of food poisoning?
Food poisoning symptoms can come on after 24 hours or they can take a few days, even a week, to appear. They usually include:
- Stomach cramps
Fever can also be experienced. Most people start to feel better within a few days, but for those who are elderly, pregnant or already unwell, or anybody who has eaten lots of contaminated food, symptoms may persist and treatment may be needed. Food poisoning can be particularly risky in the elderly and in children, as there is an increased risk of dehydration. Did you know that poultry is linked to the most food poisoning cases, with 244,000 cases of campylobacter poisoning reported every year? That’s not to say that you can’t suffer food poisoning from fish and chips though, as you can, if food hygiene standards are not up to scratch. There have been cases where people have suffered from really severe symptoms after experiencing food poisoning – one woman in Ireland who was struck down with campylobacter poisoning spent five days seriously ill in hospital.
What to do if you have suffered from food poisoning after eating takeaway food
If you have suffered from food poisoning, then the takeaway in question could be held liable, and if they have failed to keep their premises clean, carry out good practice when it comes to food hygiene or carry out risk assessments, then you may be eligible to make a claim for personal injury compensation. You may first wish to get in touch with the fish and chip shop or takeaway in question to let them know – if you have serious concerns about food hygiene at the establishment then you can get in touch with the Environmental Health Department of your local council, to let them know, and they may carry out their own investigations. You have three years to get in touch with Accident Advice Helpline to make a personal injury claim, so it’s important not to miss out.
Are you more likely to get food poisoning from fish and chips or Chinese?
It’s not easy to say whether you’re more likely to get food poisoning from fish and chips than any other kind of takeaway, as it all depends on the hygiene practices of the takeaway that you have eaten food from. An article in the Independent in 2010 claimed that Chinese restaurants and takeaways topped the list of offenders when it came to food poisoning – over 50% of 491 Chinese outlets surveyed failed to meet food hygiene standards; in contrast, failings were only found at 25% of fish and chip shops. As well as Chinese takeaways, there have been numerous news stories about kebab shops that have failed to meet hygiene standards. Most notably one kebab shop in Nottingham, where the owner was fined after selling food found to be contaminated with human faeces, leading to an outbreak of E.coli in 2015. So there is no one type of takeaway that is safer to eat than another – in fact, the Food Standards Agency recommends checking the food hygiene rating of takeaways and restaurants online.
Could you claim compensation after suffering food poisoning?
You could find that you’re eligible to claim compensation if you have suffered food poisoning after enjoying fish and chips or a battered sausage. Claiming compensation for food poisoning from fish and chips doesn’t have to be complicated either – you can get in touch with a personal injury lawyer within three years of the incident and find out where you stand. If the takeaway that sold you food is found to be liable, then you could be entitled to receive compensation not only for your food poisoning, but also for any loss of earnings that you have suffered as a result of taking time off work when you have been ill.
You could take the 30-second test on our website right now, to see how much compensation you could be entitled to, then get in touch with us by calling our freephone helpline on 0800 689 0500 (or 0333 500 0993 from a mobile). We’ll be able to tell you whether you have a viable claim for compensation or not, and offer you advice relating to making a claim that could help you decide what to do next.
You don’t have to suffer in silence if you have suffered food poisoning from fish and chips – let us help you to claim the compensation you are entitled to. Remember that there is a three-year time limit in place to make a personal injury claim, whether you have suffered from minor food poisoning symptoms or been seriously ill after food from your local fish and chip shop.
Date Published: February 14, 2015
Author: David Brown