Jennifer Rowlinson | Associate

A Nightmare Feast to Avoid at Christmas

The frosty nights are well under way and Jack Frost has been nipping at our noses. Whilst everyone prepares to roast chestnuts on an open fire, we have prepared an article on food poisoning to help you in making the holiday season bright.

Festive Feasts  – A Warning

It is the most wonderful time of the year. However, a bad experience with your festive feasts could leave you feeling more like the Grinch this season.

In a recent case, a newly married couple and over 50 wedding guests were struck down with salmonella food poisoning.  Investigations traced the cause of salmonella to the hog roast which was undercooked.  The couple were so ill that they had to cancel their honeymoon.  The catering company pleaded guilty to two breaches of health and safety and were fined £200,000.

A large proportion of festive foods could result in party goers experiencing food poisoning. According to the NHS, campylobacter (bacteria which usually lives in the digestive system of animals) is the most common cause of food poisoning in the country and affects more than 280,000 people each year. Therefore, it is important to be mindful of food and hygiene regulations if you are preparing a festive feast.

All You Want for Christmas – An Answer  

Restaurants, hotels and other establishments in Scotland are required to adhere to regulations when it comes to the cleanliness of their kitchens, their food storage and cooking procedures. The Consumer Rights Act requires the restaurants in Scotland to provide food that is of “satisfactory quality” for example properly stored, free from harmful bacteria and properly cooked. If a customer took ill as a result of their failure, they would have a remedy against the restaurant.

If you are ill over the festive period as a result of food poisoning, then you may be entitled to claim for personal injury.

The starting point, as with any case, is the act or omission that caused the illness. Important factors that require to be considered include:

  • How the food was contaminated;
  • Where else did you eat prior to the illness beginning;
  • What particular food caused the illness;
  • How was food contaminated?;
  • Was the food prepared in accordance with proper hygiene rules;
  • Were others in your party suffering from the same illness?

The next stage in the investigation is to establish what steps were taken after discovering the illness:

  • Was the illness reported
  • What, if any, treatment did you require?

End Note

This year, to save (any) tears, make sure you follow food and hygiene regulations.

Jennifer Rowlinson

Jennifer Rowlinson

Personal Injury Team

“I particularly enjoy being involved in court hearings and helping my client’s feel supported through the court process from beginning to end”

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