If you get sick at a restaurant, they may ask you not to report it to your local health department or others. They don’t want to be investigated, fined, and face possible civil repercussions that would force them to pay you money.
Don’t let the restaurant or their insurance company strong-arm you; you have rights. Contact OFT Food Safety & Injury Lawyers to find out about your options.
If the restaurant suspects they did something wrong, they might ask you not to report the food poisoning to the health department or your legal team. They don’t want to have to make changes to their processes. They also don’t want to deal with an insurance claim that can potentially be costly.
The restaurant also likely wants to avoid an inspection from the health department, which can be time-consuming and damaging to their reputation if negative things are found. It’s even more important to report it if they are pushing back against you.
When you call the restaurant you think caused your food poisoning, they will likely deny that they had anything to do with it. However, if multiple people got sick or you can prove that they caused it – by serving you raw chicken, for example – then they may be forced to take responsibility.
They may call the health department to report the situation. More likely, if you test positive for a reportable disease or infection (such as E. coli, Listeria, Cyclospora, or Salmonella) your doctor will report this to your local health department. The local health department then investigates these reports, and if they find that multiple people got sick from eating at the same restaurant, they will order an inspection how the restaurant handles food, where food is stored, and whether it is properly cooked. The health department might issue citations or warnings to the restaurant, which can be used in a claim later on.
The restaurant will notify their insurance company just in case someone makes a claim against them. You will need to file a claim if you have medical costs, miss work, experience pain and suffering, or have other losses due to the food poisoning they caused. You shouldn’t have to shoulder the cost of the illness that they caused.
You deserve compensation if you’ve gotten food poisoning due to irresponsible food handling at a restaurant. Food poisoning can be expensive to manage, as it can have a long-lasting impact on your life. You may be able to get money to cover your past and future medical bills, lost wages, loss of earning potential, and other damages.