How does broken glass get into food?
If you're wondering whether to seek compensation for finding glass in food, you might also be left wondering how glass gets into food in the first place. Shards of glass in food are usually caused by glass breakages in factories when food is being packed (when it comes to supermarket food) or breakages at your local restaurant or takeaway. For example, a broken bottle or other object may be cleaned up in a factory, but small shards of glass may have been left in food. If a window breaks overhead or nearby in a restaurant kitchen, the result could be broken glass in your food.
Whos at fault?
The responsibility of preventing broken glass from getting into food lies with whoever is preparing the food - so in the factory example, the factory owners could be held responsible if their staff are negligent. If you have eaten in a restaurant or bar or ordered food from a takeaway and discovered it contained broken glass, you could make a claim for compensation for finding glass in food against the establishment in question. This is a breach of food hygiene regulations, and you may also wish to consider reporting the establishment to your local councils environmental health department, who may carry out their own investigations.
You have a right to enjoy your food without the risk of illness or injury, and ingesting broken glass in food can be dangerous, even fatal. There have been stories in the media of people who have died after eating food containing glass shards. Restaurants and other establishments serving food should take time tosource reputable manufacturers and train their staff, both key to avoid issues such as physical contamination of food and the practice of good food hygiene.
What should you do after finding glass in food?
If you find shards of glass in your food, or even tiny pieces of glass, you should stop eating immediately. If youre eating at a restaurant or bar, you should let the management know what you have found, as its possible that other diners meals could be contaminated with broken glass too. If you ordered food from a takeaway, you should call or visit to let them know. What about if you have bought food at a supermarket which contains broken glass? You should report this to the supermarket and if possible keep hold of the evidence - this could be useful should you decide to make a personal injury claim for compensation for finding glass in food.
If you think you have swallowed any glass or you are unsure, you should seek immediate medical attention, as broken glass can cause lacerations to the mouth and throat, internal bleeding and even death, in rare cases. If somebody you love has eaten broken glass, you should seek urgent medical attention at the accident and emergency department of your local hospital.
What injuries could broken glass in food cause?
Broken glass in food could cause injuries that range from minor to serious, depending on the size of the pieces of glass and how much glass you have ingested. Accident Advice Helpline has handled hundreds of claims for compensation for finding glass in food since we were established in 2000, and here are some of the most common injuries we have seen:
- Chipped or broken teeth
- Cuts to your lips
- Injuries to your throat if you have swallowed glass
- Internal injuries after swallowing glass
If you have suffered lacerations to your lips or mouth, you will normally need to have the wounds closed, and stitches are the usual way to do this. It's important to seek medical attention, as if you later decide to make a claim, Accident Advice Helpline will need to see evidence of your medical treatment.
What else could you find in your food?
It's not just broken glass that you could find in your food physical contaminants could include things like insects, animal (rodent) droppings, jewellery, hair or even metal staples from food packaging. Figures from the UK Food Standards Agency from 2012 reveal that there 16 reports of physical contamination in food, leading to 14 recall information notices being issued. These figures are not declining year upon year, so it's clear that more needs to be done to protect members of the public from physical contamination of their food.
How to make a claim for compensation for finding glass in food
If you are considering claiming compensation for finding glass in food then it's a good idea to contact a personal injury lawyer as soon as possible after the incident happens. Yes, there is a three-year time limit in place to make a claim, but you'd be surprised how quickly time can pass, and if you don't act quickly, you could lose out. Get in touch with Accident Advice Helpline by calling us on 0800 083 5045 to find out more about making a no win no fee claim.
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