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Can food poisoning lead to a public liability claim?

Australians have a taste for buying food. According to a 2013 CommBank Signals report, the average person spends around $70 a week at cafes, takeaway joints and restaurants.

As our buying and eating habits continue to change, we are more often choosing the quick option instead of cooking something at home. However, while this can definitely hurt our back pocket, could it be harming our health as well?

Based on statistics from the NSW Department of Primary Industries, there are more than 4.1 million food poisoning cases each year. While not every trip to a restaurant will result in a bout of food poisoning, it is important to understand your rights if you eat below-par food.

Can I make a public liability claim?

While it is common, food poisoning can be a serious medical illness that may lead to months of recovery. As well as the initial vomiting and diarrhoea, those suffering could also experience nausea and abdominal pain.

These symptoms may pass after a few days, but there have been many cases in the past of food poisoning causing other medical issues. This can cause you to miss work, face steep medical bills or experience a drop in your standard of living.

As such, it is possible in NSW to make a public liability claim based on a case of food poisoning.

What could count as public liability?

All food vendors have a duty of care to their customers to serve fresh and safe-to-eat food. However, mistakes do occur and these can seriously harm your health.

According to the NSW Department of Primary Industries, food poisoning can result under many circumstances. This includes:

  • Serving food past its 'use-by' date
  • Not storing food in the correct environment
  • Not cooking food to the appropriate length or standard
  • Cross contaminating food, surfaces, equipment and utensils
  • Displaying poor hygiene standards

What is the next step?

If you believe that you contracted food poisoning because the food vendor failed their duty of care, it is important to get in touch with a professional lawyer as soon as possible. This can ensure that your legal team can gather all the appropriate information and evidence as well as judge the impact of the food poisoning on your life.

Of course, the amount of compensation that you receive will be based on the extent of the illness and the impact on you as a whole.

For information on making a public liability claim based on a case of food poisoning, contact our team today.

© 2021 
Gerard Malouf & Partners
 — Personal Injury Compensation Lawyers

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