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Illness Compensation Claims

Food Poisoning Claims

Food poisoning can happen when food is not prepared in line with hygiene standards. The effects can be extremely unpleasant, and in some cases can also lead to debilitating long term conditions such as irritable bowel syndrome (IBS) and other associated illnesses.

Food retailers and suppliers have a responsibility to meet the hygiene standards put in place to protect their customers from becoming ill. If you have suffered food poisoning after eating at a restaurant, pub or other food outlet, or after eating food purchased from a shop, our legal experts could help you make a No Win No Fee* compensation claim.

Our illness team have a long track record of successful claims involving a variety of infections, including:

  • Salmonella
  • Shigella
  • E.coli
  • Giardia
  • Norovirus
  • Rotavirus
  • Campylobacter
  • Cryptosporidium

We can also help with complex, large-scale group action food poisoning claims - even for clients who fell ill abroad.

Compensation doesn’t just reflect the temporary or ongoing suffering of gastric illness. It can also provide important financial support for you and your family by covering medical expenses and earnings lost as a result of the illness. Our specialist team will also help you access any additional support you might need.

Get in touch today on 0800 056 4110 for a free initial consultation and find out if we can help you make a No Win No Fee* food poisoning compensation claim.


No Win No Fee*
Dedicated team for public health and international illness claims
Extensive experience with group claims
Offices around the UK

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Food Poisoning Claims - More Information
    • What Will Happen When I Make A Claim?
    • When you contact us, you'll speak to one of our friendly team members, who will talk to you about your illness. This initial consultation is free and from there, we'll advise you on the best way to take your claim forward.

      Contacting Those Responsible For Your Illness

      We'll help you work out who is responsible for your illness and get in touch with them at an early stage to see if they accept the blame for what happened. If they accept responsibility, we'll try to secure some of your compensation up-front, which can fund private medical care and expenses while your claim is ongoing. These payments are known as interim payments, and will be taken out of your final compensation award.

      Gathering Evidence

      Our experts will look into your case in detail, gathering evidence and enquiring with other customers who may have been affected. We'll employ medical professionals to find out how your illness impacted your health and recommend the care you'll need in the future in order to make the best recovery possible.

      Final Settlement & Compensation Awarded

      We'll always try and negotiate claims out of court, keeping the claim process as short as we can. However, if your opponent doesn't accept responsibility or doesn't agree with the amount of compensation we feel you need, we'll start court proceedings.

      Even when trial dates have been set, claims are still often settled before reaching court. If your claim needs to be decided at court, we'll be there to help you every step of the way, talking you through what will happen so you feel as comfortable as possible.

      Read more about what happens if your case goes to court.


    • What Can Compensation Pay For?
    • By making an illness compensation claim, you can access funds to help cover expenses and any medical treatment you may need.

      Every case is different, so there's no set amount of compensation you'll receive. The amount of compensation you'll get will depend on your circumstances, the severity of your illness and your chances of making a full recovery.

      To work out how much compensation you're entitled to, we'll take into account factors such as:

      • Expenses - including travel expenses to medical appointments, prescriptions and things that help with daily living.
      • Loss of earnings - to cover any time you've had off work and time off you may need in the future. This figure can also cover matters such as not returning to the same role or not being able to return to work.
      • Pain and suffering - caused by your illness.
      • Further treatments - to pay for any further medical procedures you may need

      If you'd like to make a compensation claim, contact us to set up a free initial consultation on 0800 056 4110.


    • How Long Do I Have To Make A Claim?
    • You normally have to make a personal injury claim within three years of your illness so you should contact us as soon as possible. Getting in touch with us shortly after your illness makes collecting evidence easier and helps get you the compensation you need as soon as possible. It can also help us find other people who have contracted an illness from the same place and file a stronger group claim.

      There are some exceptions to the three year time limit, including:

      • International claims - time limits in other countries may be shorter, so you should contact us as soon as possible to find out if you could claim.
      • Claims on behalf of children - these can be made at any point before their 18th birthday. When the child reaches 18, they can make their own claim at any stage up until they turn 21.
      • Mental capacity - there are no time limits to make a claim on behalf of someone who doesn’t have the ability to handle their own case.
      • Fatal claims - some illnesses can be fatal in people with underlying illnesses, people with weakened immune systems and other vulnerable individuals. To make a claim on behalf of your loved one, you'll have three years from the date they died to make a claim.

      If you would like to make a personal injury claim, we urge you to contact us as soon as possible so we can start work on your case. Call us today on 0800 056 4110 for a free initial consultation to discuss your situation.


    • Can I Make A No Win No Fee Claim?
    • Many of our cases are funded with a No Win No Fee agreement. This means that there's no financial risk* to you when making a compensation claim.

      At the start of your case we'll discuss funding options with you, advising you which we think is most suitable. If you have legal expenses insurance (LEI) or are covered by a trade union policy, these may be better options to fund your claim. Legal expenses insurance is included in many household insurance policies, so it's always worth checking whether you're already covered.

      If we think you're best supported by a No Win No Fee agreement, we'll explain the process clearly. This involves setting up an insurance policy that will protect you, at no cost to you. You'll only have to pay anything when your claim is successful - your opponent will pay most of our fees.

      Please visit our No Win No Fee page for more information on how it works.


    • Meet The Team
    • Our personal injury experts are based across the country so are never too far away from you. We'll always take the time to get to know you and will make sure we understand what happened in your illness and the effect it's had on your life.

      Your lawyer will run your case as efficiently as possible and will start investigating your claim as soon as possible. We always provide clear advice on what's happening and can advise you on a number of issues including financial planning and state benefit entitlement.

      Our Personal Injury team has been applauded by leading legal guides, Chambers & Partners and the Legal 500. In 2016, Chambers & Partners said: "They are excellent, very knowledgeable and considerate to their clients, in whom they take a personal interest." The Legal 500, in 2015, described us as a "leading player" and recognised that we "handle every case thoroughly and compassionately." In 2016 the Legal 500 described Amandeep Dhillon, who heads the Public Health team, as "a great team player and strategic thinker".

      We're also proud to have won the Claimant Solicitor of the Year prize at the Rehabilitation First Awards on seven different occasions. This award recognises our key focus on rehabilitation, making sure that our clients can access the care and support they need.

      View our Public Health team.



We are extremely grateful to Irwin Mitchell who diligently pursued our cases for us."

Ken, Client

Frequently Asked Questions

What Causes Food Poisoning?

Food poisoning happens when you eat food that has been contaminated by bacteria, parasites or viruses. Contamination can happen when:

  • Raw food isn't stored, cooked or reheated properly
  • Food passes its use by date
  • Food is touched by dirty hands
  • Food is coughed, sneezed or breathed on by an ill person
  • Food is near other contaminated food or sources of bacteria

Some foods are more susceptible to contamination than others. It is important to take extra care over storing, handling and cooking raw eggs, meat and seafood for this reason. It is also important to keep these raw ingredients away from cooked or ready-to-eat food in case of cross-contamination.

A number of different bacteria and viruses can contaminate food and each is more common in certain types of food:

  • Campylobacter - raw or undercooked meat, unpasteurised milk and untreated water
  • E. Coli - undercooked beef and unpasteurised milk
  • Listeria - "ready-to-eat" foods such as sandwiches, cooked and cured meats, pâté, and soft cheeses
  • Norovirus - Raw shellfish
  • Salmonella - raw or undercooked meat, raw eggs, milk and dairy products
  • Shigella - any food washed in contaminated water
  • Giardia - a parasite that can contaminate food
  • Cryptosporidium - contaminated food

If you have fallen ill and believe that contaminated food might be the cause, you may be able to make a food poisoning claim. Call our expert team on 0800 056 4110 for a free initial consultation to find out more.


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Who Is Responsible For Food Poisoning?

Businesses serving food to the public here in the UK have a duty to follow hygiene and sanitation standards to ensure their food is free from contamination and safe to eat. Such businesses include:

  • Restaurants
  • Pubs
  • Cafes
  • Hotels
  • Cruise lines
  • Takeaways
  • Shops and supermarkets selling "ready-to-eat" food
  • Festivals
  • Hospitals

A business will be responsible for any food poisoning that is caused if they serve contaminated food to you causing you illness. You have a right to claim compensation from them if you are affected.

If you have suffered food poisoning during a package holiday abroad, our specialist illness abroad lawyers may be able to claim against the holiday company rather than the foreign business that served the food. This means that the case goes through the British legal system rather than international law, saving time and potentially resulting in a larger compensation payment.

If you have suffered food poisoning after eating food from one of these businesses, contact us to learn more.


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What If I Get Food Poisoning While On Holiday Abroad?

We may be able to help claim compensation even if you suffered food poisoning in a foreign country.

Our dedicated travel claims team was established in 1997 and has helped our clients recover many millions of pounds in compensation for illness since then. Our track record of success for our clients is unrivalled and we have an international reputation for our work for the victims of illness outbreaks. For example, we secured £5.5m in compensation for almost 1000 holidaymakers who fell ill with serious illnesses like Salmonella, Shigella and Campylobacter at the Bahia Principe Hotel in San Juan, Dominican Republic, in 2007.

We have the expertise needed to help you make an international claim if required. Many of our team are multi-lingual. We also have long-standing relationships with leading foreign lawyers around the world who we can call on for their specialist knowledge when needed.

We understand that a holiday illness will already have cost you some much-needed rest and relaxation. We'll strive to make the process as simple and stress-free as possible, whilst fighting to get you the compensation you deserve.

Read more about holiday illness claims here.


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Awards & Accreditations

We're always proud to be recognised for the work we do for our clients and have been named as a leading firm in the latest legal guides - which provide information and recommendations about lawyers and law firms in the UK.


Private Client Team of the Year - Legal Business Awards 2017
"'One of the best’ and ‘go-to firm’ Irwin Mitchell covers the full range of work, and specialises in complex, unique cases."
"The lawyers are heavyweight individuals in a big firm, but they never compromise on client care. They handle cases with striking compassion and insight."

What Our Clients Say

We truly value and appreciate the feedback we receive from our clients, as we look to improve the services we offer on an ongoing basis.

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Making a difference – specialist care and support services.


We understand how difficult dealing with an illness can be. Our personal injury experts are here for you whatever your situation is, and you can be sure that we'll help you access the care and support you need to make the best recovery possible.


Our Offices

Our offices are located in major cities throughout the UK and have excellent transport links.

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To begin your claim for compensation, or ask any questions regarding personal injury claims, contact us today for a free consultation.

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