Food poisoning: pursuing those responsible

Currantly

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Dec 24, 2014
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482
#1
I ended up in hospital recently with severe food poisoning. Does anyone have any contacts in the northern suburbs of Cape Town that can help me pursue those responsible for damages & costs? I think that my medical may not pay out since I wasn't booked in overnight at the hospital. I do have a sample of what I vomited at the hospital. I've already contacted the local health inspector, but I don't know how much they will help & I think they take ages to do anything due to a high workload. Thanks in advance.
 

Emjay

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Jun 18, 2005
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#2
You are wasting your time. It will be more expensive to pursue this than just accepting your medical bills and moving on.

You will have more of an impact naming and shaming on social media.
 

ISP cash cow

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#3
I ended up in hospital recently with severe food poisoning. Does anyone have any contacts in the northern suburbs of Cape Town that can help me pursue those responsible for damages & costs? I think that my medical may not pay out since I wasn't booked in overnight at the hospital. I do have a sample of what I vomited at the hospital. I've already contacted the local health inspector, but I don't know how much they will help & I think they take ages to do anything due to a high workload. Thanks in advance.
unless you have any portions of the food that you had too eat at your "suspected" eatery you are not going to get very far, along with the fact that you were not booked in overnight makes me believe that no blood tests or stool samples were taken to prove what your potential food poisoning was. Without this there is no legal cases that your Environmental health office would be able to investigate.

Best you can do is just go back to the eatery and complain and just stay away from the place in the future.
 

Currantly

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#4
You are wasting your time. It will be more expensive to pursue this than just accepting your medical bills and moving on.
Even if you did have all the evidence to prove who is/was responsible?

You will have more of an impact naming and shaming on social media.
Couldn't they then just say that I'm libeling them, or trying to blackmail them?
 

Currantly

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#5
unless you have any portions of the food that you had too eat at your "suspected" eatery you are not going to get very far
I ate the whole thing. It wasn't much, maybe ~200g.

the fact that you were not booked in overnight makes me believe that no blood tests or stool samples were taken to prove what your potential food poisoning was. Without this there is no legal cases that your Environmental health office would be able to investigate.
I do have a sample of my vomit from the hospital. They did take blood to confirm food poisoning, but it's not evidence of what poisoned me, according to the doctor I spoke to. The advice I remember was to keep a sample of your vomit & that is what I did.

Best you can do is just go back to the eatery and complain and just stay away from the place in the future.
I'm guessing they'll just deny it & accuse me trying to blackmail them.
 

Edelweiss

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#7
That might get you sued... ]
I've done this. No lawsuit.

Who's the manufacturer in question? Do they have the required food safety standards in place like FSSC22000/HACCP?
 

Emjay

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#8
Even if you did have all the evidence to prove who is/was responsible?



Couldn't they then just say that I'm libeling them, or trying to blackmail them?
In order to prove it was that specific thing that gave you food poisoning, you would need a lab to match up whatever made you sick. So, you would need a sample of your stomach contents, and then a sample of the food item you ate. Is that the proof you have?
 

Arthur

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#9
I ate the whole thing. It wasn't much, maybe ~200g.



I do have a sample of my vomit from the hospital. They did take blood to confirm food poisoning, but it's not evidence of what poisoned me, according to the doctor I spoke to. The advice I remember was to keep a sample of your vomit & that is what I did.



I'm guessing they'll just deny it & accuse me trying to blackmail them.
Has the sample been in your possession, or held by the hospital? If in your possession, you'll have to rebut the other side's contention that it could have been contaminated after the sample was taken, which will be pretty hard.
 

Arthur

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#11
@Currantly Sorry about the nasty experience. On legal or other action: put yourself in the shoes of a restaurant owner who is accused of food poisoning. How would you go about defending yourself against such a lawsuit, especially if you suspect the customer is wrong? That should go a long way to clarifying the issues for you, all the things you need to prove (as a plaintiff), the risks of defamatory statements causing harm, etc, etc.
 

ISP cash cow

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#12
I do have a sample of my vomit from the hospital. They did take blood to confirm food poisoning, but it's not evidence of what poisoned me, according to the doctor I spoke to. The advice I remember was to keep a sample of your vomit & that is what I did.
Your doctor claiming you must keep some of your vomit as proof is ludicrous. Firstly yes if your blood or stool sample came back as positive for a bacteria which is known to cause food poisoning then the only way to prove where you got the food poisoning from is by having some of the meal that you "suspect" was the cause otherwise it could be a case of you getting it from your own fridge or drinking water, eating something else or even your own hygiene causing you to get it.

You not getting booked in makes me believe that you probably either had an E.coli or even a norovirus. which is mild food poisoning. If you had a more sever case from a pathogen such as Listeria, Salmonella or E.coli 0157:H7 you would be in hospital on a drip.

some of the questions the doctor should have asked you were

What did you eat that you thought may have contained the bacterium or virus?
did you eat out or was it a meal that you prepared yourself?
If it was a meal that you prepared yourself how long had you purchased the meal before you used it (was it refrigerated or frozen before use)
how soon after eating it did you start vomiting and getting diarrhea?

If they took tests they must of cultured what bacteria or virus it was, did your doctor tell you what it was?

Food poisoning is a general term for a bacteria or virus which just uses food as a carrier. If you know which bacteria it was it will give you a better indication of where it came from.

Unfortunately you are simply not going to have any recourse from the company unless you have proof, which you unfortunately don't.
 

Currantly

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Dec 24, 2014
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#13
Update: Somebody from the city health place called me & they're going to do a surprise inspection of the place. I have sent them some of my evidence. The good news is that my hospital bill isn't that high & it looks like it will be covered under my hospital plan as it (gastro) is under the PMBs. Feeling alive again after so long....
 

Polly101

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Nov 7, 2011
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#15
Update: Somebody from the city health place called me & they're going to do a surprise inspection of the place. I have sent them some of my evidence. The good news is that my hospital bill isn't that high & it looks like it will be covered under my hospital plan as it (gastro) is under the PMBs. Feeling alive again after so long....
by evidence you mean a vomit sample? A restaurant bill? Petri dish??
 

R13...

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#16
Are you the only one who fell ill or are there other patrons affected? Imagine if there were more it'd be easier to prove that it is problem from their kitchen or something general rather than you being unlucky to be served the bad batch
 
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