Food Safety

Are Restaurants Liable For Food Safety Violations?

Whether grabbing a quick bite to eat or sharing a family meal at your favorite restaurant, the last thing you’re thinking about is the likelihood of a possible food safety incident. Yet, did you know that an estimated 47.8 million incidents are caused by foodborne illnesses yearly? 

Many restaurants or food providers are responsible for these accidents, from selling expired products to improper food handling. The damages are so severe at times that the incident can lead victims to be hospitalized or worse. If you’ve recently experienced a situation like this, you can file a personal injury claim against the restaurant for any damages caused.

What Do You Need To Prove In A Food Safety Claim Against A Restaurant? 

If you get sick from eating contaminated food, there are a few steps you need to take to prove that the restaurant or food distributor was at fault. To receive compensation, you must confirm the following three things: 

#1 The Restaurant Sold You The Contaminated Food 

A restaurant is legally responsible for serving food that meets specific safety standards at all times. Failure to do so can lead to severe consequences, especially if the customer becomes sick. You need concrete evidence that the defendant sold you the contaminated food product for your claim to succeed in court.

#2 Negligence

Food service staff needs to follow strict safety measures. Some of these steps include proper food handling guidelines, such as employees washing their hands properly, checking for expiration dates, or avoiding cross-contamination. The restaurant will be liable if an employee doesn’t do this and the customer becomes ill.

#3 Their Product Made You Sick

You must also show the connection between your illness and the restaurant’s product. Even if the staff was at fault, the defendant might argue that you may have gotten sick from another source. To prove this step, you need a sample of the food tested for harmful bacteria or microbes that can be linked to your illness. Also, documenting your symptoms and having your doctor provide evidence of food poisoning can significantly strengthen your case.

Can You Receive Compensation If Your Claim Is Successful?

For your claim to have a favorable outcome, your attorney needs to investigate the connection between the damages you sustained from the food poisoning and the food you ate at the restaurant. Depending on your case, you can receive compensation for: 

● Medical bills

● Pain and suffering 

● The loss of income

● Emotional distress

● Other relevant out-of-pocket expenses 

While larger payouts are rare, you can still qualify for monetary compensation based on the severity of your case. If other customers were affected by the same incident, your claim would have a much higher chance of success.

What To Do After Your Food Safety Incident

Food poisoning or foodborne illness cases can be hard to prove if you don’t have concrete evidence. Always start documenting your symptoms and consulting with a medical professional immediately after you start feeling ill. You can build your claim against the defendant as early as possible if you do.

Foodborne illnesses or poisoning can also affect more than one customer. If you can find a link between your medical condition to a broader case, you can be a part of a class action lawsuit against the food provider. Involvement in a larger claim can make proving that the defendant was liable much easier. 

Lastly, remember that the restaurant may not be the only one responsible for your damages. This is precisely why your personal injury lawyer will need to help you find the source of contamination to identify the defendants and strengthen your claim further.

Our Personal Injury Lawyers Can Help With Your Case

While most food safety incidents are easily preventable, millions of victims suffer each year due to a restaurant or food provider’s negligence. If you’ve been involved in a serious case of food poisoning, our personal injury lawyers can help further investigate your claim. We have obtained hundreds of thousands of dollars in rewards and settlements for our clients, and we are committed to helping you get the compensation you deserve. If you have any questions, call us at (866) 576-0484 or use our contact form to schedule a free initial consultation.