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I think I have food poisoning. What should I do next?

What to do when you believe you may suffer from food poisoning depends on where you think you may have contracted the infection and what type of food was involved.

Food poisoning at home

If, for example, you believe something you ate at home caused your illness, and you are certain that you did not become ill after eating shellfish or mushrooms, you may not need medical attention. In this case, you should take the following steps:

  • Drink plenty of water to keep your body hydrated.
  • Avoid dairy products and drinks containing caffeine, as they irritate the stomach and worsen symptoms.
  • Once vomiting stops, drink flavoured water, clear broth, soda or electrolyte beverages.
  • Following this, try eating some bland food that can be digested easily, such as, for instance, crackers, dry toast or plain rice.
  • Take some probiotics, as these contain friendly bacteria helpful in digesting food and restoring balance within your gut.
  • Do not take medications for diarrhoea, as the body needs to get rid of the contaminant that made you ill. Stopping this process may make matters worse.
  • Get plenty of rest

If, however, you believe you have contracted food poisoning through shellfish or mushrooms, think you were infected in a restaurant or other food outlet, or your symptoms include fever and/or blood in your stool, you should seek medical attention immediately.

Food poisoning in hotels and restaurants

Outbreaks of food poisoning can manifest anything between four to six hours and a couple of days after eating contaminated food. It is therefore necessary to try and remember where you had ate and what you ate, in order to determine the source of the infection. You may also want to check if others were affected.

Food poisoning, slips, trips and falls

Restaurants, hotels, and so on have a duty to protect patrons’ health and safety by preventing slip, trip and fall injuries, as well as food poisoning through adequate health and safety measures and procedures.

Public liability compensation

If you contracted food poisoning at a restaurant, you may be eligible to claim for compensation. You should seriously consider this not just because of the money, but because compensation claims of this type usually result in investigations into how the outbreak was possible. This may stop others from becoming ill in the future.

How to claim

Start your claim by calling the Accident Advice Helpline, a law firm with 15 years of experience in handling personal injury claims.