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Posted by: OFT Food Safety & Injury Lawyers

When food workers don’t handle food properly, restaurant patrons can get sick. If you are one of the millions of people who get food poisoning annually, you may have to get medical treatment and rack up bills. If a restaurant was at fault for serving you bad food, then you deserve compensation for your damages.

Contact the experienced team of food poisoning attorneys at OFT Food Safety & Injury Lawyers. We have helped thousands of people who were the victims of food poisoning, and we can help you too. Call us today at (888) 828-7087 or use our online contact form to reach out.

Who Is Responsible for Food Safety in a Restaurant?

The restaurant and its staff are responsible for providing you with safe food to eat. If they give you anything that has bacteria in it and that bacteria makes you sick, they can be held responsible for any damages you incur.

You might have medical bills from having to go to the hospital or urgent care. You may be unable to work for a while due to food poisoning. In extreme cases, you may even have ongoing medical treatment that lasts for months or longer. Foodborne illnesses can be severe, and restaurants should do everything possible to prevent them.

How Can Restaurants Prevent Food Poisoning?

There are steps restaurants can take to prevent patrons from getting ill from the food they serve.

1. Wash Hands

In every restaurant bathroom, you should see a sign that tells employees to wash their hands. Handwashing with warm soap and water is essential in the restaurant business. However, hand washing after bathroom use is only one step.

Employees should also wash their hands between touching raw and cooked foods, after handling credit cards or money, after touching a cash register or other equipment, and before touching any food items. Hand washing stations should be easily accessible throughout the kitchen and bathrooms.

Employees should make sure to use proper handwashing techniques, which include using warm water and soap. They should scrub their hands for at least 20 seconds to make sure bacteria are washed away or killed by antibacterial soap. Clean paper towels or a blow dryer system should be used to dry hands.

2. Don’t Work When Ill

Restaurant employees should never come to work when they are sick. This applies to back of the house employees like cooks, prep and front of the house staff like servers. Sick employees can make mistakes, serve bad food, and spread their illness to patrons.

If an employee has nausea, vomiting, a fever, or diarrhea, there is a chance they have a foodborne illness already. If they come to work before symptoms subside, they could risk spreading it to people who come to eat at the restaurant.

3. Only Use Professionally Preserved and Prepared Foods

Restaurants should purchase meat, vegetables, canned goods, and other foods from USDA approved facilities. Farm to table eating is becoming more popular, but if you don’t know the farm’s cleanliness, you might be risking patrons’ health.

Home-canned foods should never be used in a restaurant. Although it can seem like a taste of home, they are less likely to follow state regulations on food safety.

4. Food Should Be Cooked To Order

Don’t eat at restaurants that pre-cook foods or let food sit for long periods of time. All meat should be served within two hours of cooking. The same rules apply to eating food at home as in restaurants. Food should not sit out and get cold.

If you get food that is not hot in a restaurant, you should send it back immediately. Do not continue to eat it. Every minute that food sits at room temperature, bacteria grows on it, and that bacteria can make you sick.

Call OFT Food Safety & Injury Lawyers if You Get Sick

Food poisoning can have a long-lasting impact on your life. If you get sick after eating at a restaurant, contact OFT Food Safety & Injury Lawyers. Call us at (888) 828-7087 or use our online contact form today.

Notable Recoveries

$10 million

Seven infants were sickened after consuming a contaminated food product marketed to infants

$6.5 million

Verdict on behalf of a little boy who contracted a severe Salmonella infection from chicken

$7.55 million

Verdict on behalf of a little girl who contracted E. coli at a petting zoo

$2.25 million

E. coli infections contracted from a major fast food chain

$45 million

An over-the-counter medication caused severe kidney damage to multiple users

$3.4 million

A pregnant woman contracted a Listeria infection from contaminated fruit and passed the infection to her child

$3 million

Multistate Cyclospora outbreaks


A couple contracted Salmonella from a restaurant


A pedestrian was struck by a left-turning car, fracturing her tibia


A semi-truck rear-ended a motorcyclist causing a collapsed lung, rib fractures and road rash