Food Poisoning – How to avoid it

In April 2014 a Chinese Takeaway in Leicestershire was fined £4,500 for failing to clean up its “revolting” kitchen. The owner did not clean up the kitchen after previous warnings. He stated, “No-one complained of food poisoning from my shop, so I overlooked it.”

Every year, there are around 1 million cases of food poisoning, according to the Food Standards Agency. In most cases, food-borne illnesses are short, violent and nasty, leaving the victim weak and unwell for around a week.  However, in some cases it can be very serious.  Food poisoning contributes to around 20,000 hospital admissions and 500 deaths per year in the UK.

Of course, food poisoning is not confined to situations where people eat out in cafes or restaurants. It can also occur as a result of food prepared in the home.  To avoid the unpleasantness of a food-borne illness developing from your home-cooked supper always remember:

• Wash your hands before handling food, each time you handle raw meat, fish, poultry or eggs, and after using the toilet. Use hot, soapy water.
• Use separate chopping boards for meat and vegetable preparation (it is a good idea to have different colours for each board so you remember which board is intended for which task).
• Keep raw meat away from ‘ready to eat’ foods. Food poisoning often occurs when raw chicken is placed on a refrigerator shelf above a pre-prepared pudding or salad, resulting in the juices from the chicken dripping onto the prepared food, thereby contaminating it with bacteria. Because the contaminated, pre-prepared food is not heated / cooked before serving, the bacteria are not killed off and food poisoning can result.
• Keep your fridge temperature below 5°C.
• Cook food, especially meat and leftovers, properly, and until piping hot.
• Do not risk eating food, especially animal products (seafood, eggs, meat and dairy) after the labelled ‘used by date’.

Whilst you are in control of hygiene standards in your own home, how can you protect yourself from obtaining a nasty bout of food poisoning when you are eating out? Clearly it is not practical to inspect the kitchen yourself!

The best thing you can do is check the restaurant’s Food Hygiene Rating provided by the Food Standards Agency. Simply type in the name of the establishment you plan to visit and it will return a rating from 0 to 5, based on how closely the business is meeting the requirements of food hygiene law.

You can also read reviews of the restaurant or cafe you plan to dine in before you eat there.  In today’s online world, a case of food poisoning often reaches cyber-space in the form of reviews on sites such as

Here are some other steps you can take to protect yourself:

Pay Attention to the Cleanliness of the Bathrooms

Good restaurants and cafes take the cleanliness of their bathroom facilities very seriously.  If the rubbish receptacle in the bathroom is full and it looks like it has not had a decent clean in a while you might wonder how clean the kitchen is.

Avoid Buffets

Think about it, the food at a buffet is very vulnerable to inconsistent temperatures, and some restaurants are quite happy to let food sit out for hours without checking it.  Also, a lot of people touch the food and utensils with their unwashed hands.  If you do eat at a buffet, choose an early sitting.

Smell your food

If you detect a funny or unpleasant odour, inform your waiting staff immediately.  The food should smell fresh.

Speak up

In England we’re notorious for complaining vehemently to one and other about the quality of food in a restaurant, but when the waiting staff ask, “how was your meal?” we say, “fine, thank you”, then carry on grumbling to each other.  However, if your food is undercooked or lukewarm, send it back for your health’s sake.

Eating in an establishment that has one of these shortcomings does not necessarily mean you will contract food poisoning, but it is better to be safe than sorry.

Even a mild case of food poisoning can be extremely unpleasant.  If you have contracted it and believe it was someone else’s fault view our dedicated page, or contact us today to discuss your rights to compensation.

The Ever Present Dangers In The workplace

Those that work in a variety of high risk industries are more at risk than others when it comes to work related accidents. If you work for a respectable company, the managers will most likely go out of their way to prevent such accidents by enforcing a strict set of health and safety regulations.

In order to do this they will ensure that all their employees receive full training and a lengthy induction. Various signs and instructions should be visible throughout the department, especially if working in the likes of an industrial factory. Without training, machinery can be extremely hazardous; one piece of equipment placed in the wrong place could cause someone else great danger.

Companies that ignore such measures will be left to foot enormous expenses if an accident does occur. The company in question would be expected to shell out to cover various legal fees in order to rectify the situation, and even after this the business’ status could be left damaged.

Some accidents are more common than others and often come in the shape of electrical orientated injuries and trips. Less common ailments include the likes of long-term injuries, such as breathing difficulties and hearing problems.

Even a small accidental slip can cause broken bones, which is why it is important for every working environment to have their backs covered.

Slips, trips and falls

One of the most reported accidents in the work place is falling over. Such an accident makes up the majority of work environment injuries. The injury is usually in response to a wet floor or some unseen debris. If the fall is bad enough, the injured party could suffer the likes of head injuries, back problems and broken bones. More often than not, such an incident could have been avoided and is often due to someone else’s carelessness.

In order for such incidents to be avoided in the future, the injured party must notify the manager on duty. Other employees should always report any potential hazards on first sight. Such actions will prevent fellow colleagues from hurting themselves needlessly.

Manual work accidents

One particular industry that involves the likes of heavy machinery is agriculture. Many who work in such an environment will be expected to pull, lift and carry a variety of weighty objects. They will also be required to operate a number of tools and equipment.

Manual work can often lead to injury and usually includes a variety of back problems. This is quite simply because of the pressure on both the back and spine, which is almost always caused through heavy lifting.

Other injuries may include the likes of damaged limbs, pulled muscles and heart problems. These accidents tend to happen because the individual in question has failed to use some form of lifting apparatus.

What to do if an accident does occur

The first thing to do is notify your employer, he or she will then ask you to fill in an accident form. You may then wish to invest in a little legal advice. InjuryLawyers4U are UK based Injury Lawyers , who work hard to ensure that you receive the personal injury compensation that you deserve.