How Are Food Poisoning Compensation Amounts Calculated?

Food poisoning is, according to the NHS, an illness that is caused by eating contaminated food. Food safety legislation is in place to ensure that food suppliers and providers, such as a restaurant, provide food that is safe to consume. However, if there is a failure to adhere to food safety laws a customer could potentially suffer food poisoning. 

If you have suffered food poisoning, this guide will be helpful. We first discuss how food poisoning compensation is calculated and what could be awarded for the effects of your food poisoning.

Then, we explain who would be eligible to make a food poisoning claim with the criteria that need to be met. In the section following this, we discuss how food suppliers could breach food safety legislation and cause a consumer to suffer food poisoning. 

Furthermore, we look at what evidence would be needed to support a food poisoning claim and what steps need to be taken as part of the claims process. 

To conclude, we explain how our No Win No Fee solicitors could greatly help you throughout the steps of the claims process without requiring an upfront or ongoing fee for their work.

If you have any questions about making a food poisoning compensation claim, please get in touch with our helpful advisors for free. To reach them, you can:

A man with a dumpling in his hand on a black tray. He has his other hand over his stomach as if in pain.

Jump To A Section

  1. How Much Food Poisoning Compensation Could You Claim?
  2. Can I Claim Food Poisoning Compensation?
  3. How Could I Suffer Food Poisoning?
  4. What Evidence Do I Need To Claim Food Poisoning Compensation?
  5. How Do You Claim For Food Poisoning?
  6. What Are No Win No Fee Public Liability Injury Claims?

How Much Food Poisoning Compensation Could You Claim?

If a food poisoning compensation claim is successful, the amount of compensation that could be awarded will depend on the specific circumstances of your case. However, potentially two different heads of claim, general and special damages, could be included in your settlement. 

General damages, awarded in all successful personal injury claims, is a payout that compensates for the psychiatric and physical effects of your food poisoning. Such factors will need to be looked at to determine how much a general damages payout is worth:

  • Loss of amenity i.e. the loss of enjoyment you have experienced.
  • The length of recovery. 
  • What medical treatment is needed. 

The Judicial College Guidelines (JCG) is a document that can also be looked at to determine how much a general damages payout is worth. Within the JCG are different guideline payout values for various psychiatric and physical illnesses and injuries. 

Compensation Table

The table below shows different illnesses that could result from food poisoning. These illnesses and accompanying guideline payout values have been taken from the JCG. However, the top figure is not from the JCG.

This table should only be referred to as guidance only since all claims have unique circumstances and settlements can vary. 

Injury/illnessSeverityGuideline Compensation FiguresComments
Multiple serious illnesses plus special damagesSeriousUp to and above £500,000+Compensation for suffering more than one serious illness plus the financial effects such as lost wages and medication bills.
BowelsDouble incontinence (a)Up to £224,790 Along with other medical complications, there will be complete loss of natural bowl function and urinary function and control.
Total loss of natural function (b)Up to £183,190 The person will rely on a colostomy and the compensation award will depend on the person's age.
Digestive system - Damage resulting from non-traumatic injury e.g. food poisoningSevere toxicosis (b) (i)£46,900 to £64,070Severe toxicosis causing severe acute pain, diarrhoea, vomiting, and fever, necessitating hospital admission for a few days to a few weeks.
Serious but short-lived (b) (ii)£11,640 to £23,430Food poisoning causing vomiting and diarrhoea diminishing over two to four weeks.
Food poisoning or allergic reaction (b) (iii)£4,820 to £11,640Serious discomfort and stomach cramps. Hospital admission may be needed for a few days.

Special Damages

Special damages, awarded in some successful personal injury claims, is the head of loss that compensates the financial losses incurred because of your food poisoning. Having food poisoning could lead to the following types of financial losses:

  • Loss of earnings. 
  • Medication costs. 
  • Travel expenses (to and from appointments for treatment, for instance).

Special damages restore your financial position to what it was before you suffered food poisoning and can often be of higher value than general damages. However, they are not always awarded so it is vital to keep any receipts, payslips, invoices, bank statements, or any other evidence you have to prove any monetary damage. 

Our advisors can tell you about how much food poisoning compensation could potentially be awarded by assessing your case for free and providing a valuation of your case.

Can I Claim Food Poisoning Compensation?

You can potentially claim food poisoning compensation if you have become ill because a food supplier breached their duty of care. 

All food businesses that provide food for public consumption must adhere to food safety legislation and ensure that the food is safe to eat. The responsibility they have applies to all stages of food production, including preparation, handling, storage, and serving. 

The Food Safety Act 1990 offers the framework for all food safety legislation across England, Scotland, and Wales. It sets out the main responsibilities food businesses have, such as ensuring they don’t include anything in or remove anything from food in a way that means the people eating it will suffer damage to their health.

Moreover, the Food Standards Act 1999 establishes the Food Standards Agency (FSA) which is an independent government department that enforces food safety standards across England, Scotland, Wales, and Northern Ireland. They can also take action against food businesses who have failed to adhere to food safety laws.

However, you can only make a food poisoning claim if you meet the following eligibility criteria:

  1. A duty of care was owed to you by a food supplier, such as under the Food Safety Act 1990.
  2. This duty of care was breached because the food supplier provided unsafe food. 
  3. This breach of duty caused you to become ill, such as through contracting food poisoning after eating contaminated food.

If you believe that a food supplier which you ate food from breached food safety legislation, please get in touch. Our team will be able to validate the eligibility of your potential food poisoning claim. You could then be connected with our specialist solicitors if you are eligible to claim food poisoning compensation. 

A close up of a calculator pad to represent food poisoning compensation.

Time Limits To Claim For Food Poisoning

Typically, for all types of public liability claims, there is a 3-year time limit to begin the claims process, as stated in the Limitation Act 1980. This time limit starts from the date when you became ill due to a breached duty of care. 

There are only a couple of circumstances which would enable the typical time limit to be indefinitely paused, such as for those who are under the age of 18 or those who have a reduced mental capacity. Our team can tell you more about these circumstances and check whether you are within the claims time limit. 

How Could I Suffer Food Poisoning?

There are numerous ways you could potentially suffer food poisoning due to a food supplier or business breaching their duty of care. For example:

  • A takeaway served food that is past its expiry date. 
  • The catering company for an event you attended had poor hygiene practices. The staff did not wash their hands in between handling raw meats and other foods.
  • A restaurant under cooked their food. For example, they served chicken that was pink in the middle. 

There are different types of food poisoning which could be contracted in these instances, such as salmonella, norovirus, E.coli, and campylobacter. 

If you have contracted food poisoning due to a food business failing to adhere to food safety laws, please get in touch with an advisor. You can discuss your specific case with them and find out if you’re eligible to claim compensation.

What Evidence Do I Need To Claim Food Poisoning Compensation?

Collecting evidence could help you support your food poisoning compensation claim. So, here are some useful types of evidence which can prove how a duty of care was breached and how you were made ill because of the breach:

  • Samples of the food which caused your food poisoning.
  • Medical evidence. For example, your GP may ask you to supply a stool sample to be examined in a lab. This can confirm whether your illness was caused by bacterial food poisoning. The test results could be used as evidence to substantiate your case.  
  • A diary to illustrate what symptoms you have suffered. 
  • Contact details from witnesses. For example, if you and your friends were out for a meal and ate the same thing and they became ill too. 

As part of their service, our solicitors can help claimants collect evidence. If you have an eligible food poisoning compensation claim, you could instruct one of our solicitors to assist you. Read on to find out how they could assist you.

How Do You Claim For Food Poisoning?

Once the eligibility of your food poisoning compensation claim is confirmed, you can decide whether you want to go through the claims process by yourself or have a No Win No Fee solicitor work with you. 

It is not a legal requirement to instruct a solicitor to help you, although it is highly recommended. This is because, particularly if you have never tried to claim compensation before, the food poisoning claims process may be tricky to navigate. 

Our solicitors can help you gather evidence and complete each step of the claims process for you as part of the Pre-Action Protocol

The Pre-Action Protocol for Personal Injury Claims are stages that must be completed to prevent the claim from being heard in court. 

What Are The Pre-Action Protocol For Personal Injury Claims?

  • Letter of Notification. To begin the claims process, the claimant sends a letter to the defendant to inform them that a compensation claim is likely to be made against them. 
  • Rehabilitation. The claimant and the defendant decide together, as soon as possible, whether any rehabilitation treatment is needed for the claimant’s suffering. 
  • Letter of Claim. The claimant sends a letter to the defendant informing them of all the details of the claim being made against them, including that a breach of duty was identified and what the effects are of the claimant’s illness.
  • Letter of Response. The defendant sends a letter to the claimant to respond to their Letter of Claim. Within their response, the defendant should state whether they are admitting liability for the claimant’s harm or not. 
  • Disclosure of documents. The claimant can provide documents or any other relevant information to help in clarifying or resolving issues in dispute.
  • Expert reports. An independent medical expert may conduct an assessment and generate a report detailing the claimant’s harm to be submitted as part of the case. 
  • Negotiations. This is where a Part 36 offer can be made and permits claimants and defendants to make offers as a way to settle pre-proceedings.
  • Alternative Dispute Resolution (ADR). At this stage of the claims process, if there has been no resolution, then both the claimant and defendant must try and come to an agreement in the form of arbitration or mediation as a final step to resolve their dispute. If no resolution can be made, court proceedings will be issued. 

What Are No Win No Fee Public Liability Injury Claims?

If you have an eligible food poisoning compensation claim, our specialist solicitors can help you through the claims process. What’s even better is that they can do so on a No Win No Fee basis through a Conditional Fee Agreement (CFA). 

Here are the benefits of working with your solicitor under a CFA:

  • You will not be charged upfront fees for your solicitor’s services.
  • You will not be charged ongoing fees for your solicitor’s services. 
  • If your claim is unsuccessful, there will be no fees for your solicitor’s services. 
  • If your claim is successful, instead of any fees going directly out of your pocket, a success fee will be taken from your compensation. Success fees are a legally capped percentage ensuring you keep the majority of your settlement. 

Get In Touch Today

If you want to claim food poisoning compensation, please get in touch with us today. Our team can listen to your circumstances and potentially connect you to a No Win No Fee solicitor. They will be able to give you free legal advice and support. You can contact us at any time free of charge:

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Further Compensation Claim Resources

Browse some of our other personal injury claims guides:

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Hopefully, you have more knowledge on how much food poisoning compensation could potentially be awarded. If you have any other questions, please get in touch using the number above.