Food poisoning – a danger to all UK chefs (even Jamie Oliver)

Food poisoning a danger to all UK chefs even Jamie Oliver

Reports of suspected cases of food poisoning at Jamie Oliver’s chain of Italian restaurants are a stark reminder that you can never be too careful about food safety.

According to the Daily Mail, spot checks from inspectors found “a catalogue of failings” at Jamie’s Italians; all potentially endangering the health of paying customers.

No win no fee solicitors Claims Direct can help people make personal injury claims if they suffer food poisoning due to the negligence of the manufacturer or seller who provided the food.

Findings compiled by inspectors who paid surprise visits to 11 of the Naked Chef’s restaurants between November 2009 and November 2010 were released after a Freedom of Information request.

The reports mentioned:

  • A recommendation that a shellfish dish be taken off the menu in Reading after two suspected cases of ‘norovirus’ food poisoning
  • A “filthy” can opener blade
  • Out-of-date meat in staff meals at Canary Wharf
  • Under-cooked burgers in Leeds
  • Ingredients found on the floor in Glasgow

A spokesman for the chain stressed that health safety failings had only been minor and had been addressed promptly. The spokesman added that there had been no proven cases of food poisoning at Jamie’s restaurants.

But food poisoning is common in Britain – about 5.5 million people are thought to suffer from food poisoning each year.

How to recover from food poisoning

So, what should you do if you think you might be suffering from food poisoning?

It is best to seek medical advice as soon as possible. NHS Direct (0845 4647) offers health advice and reassurance over the telephone.

Talking to Heather (name changed) of NHS Direct revealed that the nurses at the helpline conduct interviews often lasting as long as 15 minutes to establish symptoms and give advice about how best to recover.

It is a good idea to take your temperature before phoning as this help the nurses give the best-possible advice (food poisoning is impossible to diagnose without a stool sample).

Questions asked are likely to include whether you have suffered diarrhoea, vomiting, fever or nausea. Affirmative answers could possibly indicate whether you have food poisoning – especially if a recent dining companion is exhibiting the same symptoms.

Vomiting should last no longer than a day but episodes of diarrhoea can last longer.

Guarding against dehydration, NHS Direct, advised me is essential in cases of food poisoning. For every episode of diarrhoea, it is best to drink a full glass of water. Sipping water constantly, rather than swigging, is a good idea and if you can’t drink any water try putting some ice cubes in your mouth instead.

Once you are keeping food and fluids down, it is time to bring your temperature down. This can be achieved by staying cool and loosely-dressed and taking a paracetamol (something which is kind and mild to tummies).

It is best to pay attention to your appetite and to continue eating when you feel hungry. NHS Direct also advises that foods rich in carbohydrates are great for recovery as they give energy in “short, sharp bursts”.

If you do think you have food poisoning, it is best to be vigilant about hand washing and try to avoid preparing food.

Medical professionals can give you advice about how to recover but for information about how to make a personal injury claim regarding food poisoning, it is best to contact a legal expert like Claims Direct.