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Food Poisoning


angel49
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Hi, hope someone can help with some advice on how to proceed.

I visited a very nice establishment (part of a large brewery chain) for a carvery one Friday in March. Having enjoyed that we decided to visit the next night, I chose turkey & gammon over salad. This was approx 8 pm. By 11.30 pm I felt nauseus, by 12.30 I began vomiting. I was unable to sleep because of the nausea I could not even sip water, by 4.30 am I began diahorrea which continued throught the day.

 

I was admitted to hosp that day with dehydration and remained an in-patient for 4 days. Everything pointed to the turkey meal, though nothing was specified, doctors said that was the likely cause for the gastro enteritis.

 

Being in hosp meant I had lost my booked and paid for week long holiday to Eire. On discharge I went back to where i'd eaten, the manager promised to pass details to his boss. On April 9, i contacted head office myself who promised a thorough investigation.

 

Their response was a £20 voucher. Their investigation concluded that hygeine practices were in order and my symptoms did not coincide with time guidelines for food poisoning.

 

I would appreciate any advice. I lost a stone in weight and its taken a few weeks for me to return to some sort of normal eating. I was upset about my holiday also.

 

Sorry for the long post but thought best to give as much detail. many thanks

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The brewery said they had ordered an independant food safety consultancy and the enquiry took 4 weeks. they quoted the following.

 

 

" with reference to the symptoms which were reported to have been suffered these are unlikely to have been caused by products consumed at ###### #####.

The onset time of the symptoms suffered is very short to have been related to products consumed at ###### #####

It has been found that there have been no discrepancies between the food handling practices and the breweries operating standards and procedures which exceed the food safety act 1990 and the food hygeine regulations 2006. It is also noted that on the same day of this report many other guests were served with identical meals and there have been no other reports of indisposition"

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I am no expert, but I have had salmonella once in my life, I'll never forget it and at the time I didn';t care if i was going to die, just worried it would take too long.

 

I must have been about 19 and remember my poor gran running around with buckets and disinfectant. Dr was called, and treated me at home, but warned if not better in 24 hours it would be hospital.

 

He made me go through with gran everything I had consumed in the past 24 hours, which she wrote down, and he was most interested in what I had eaten about 8 hours before the onset - which was either Mr Whippy Ice-cream or massive prawns off the quay stall. (But not together, really, even at 19!). I recall that I did not enjoy the ice-cream but eat it anyway, so I wonder, do you think you enjoyed your meal or do you recall a bit of it you didn't like?

 

Was your diagnosis actually salmonella? Because I think that is a tad early for the symptoms from the restaurant meal, but if you make a list like i did of the 24 hours before hand, it may shed more light on it for you. Mind you, your stomach could be much more sensitive than mine was at 19!

 

Anyway, you could contact your local Environmental Health Dept (the one for the area where you had the meal). They can advise you, and even if it is after the event, at least there are hospital records.

 

I do hope you can sort this out, at least get to the bottom of it, I know how awful you must have felt!

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Thanks jackieand wayne for your reply.

 

most of the hospital tests were negative from e-coli salmonella etc. but my crp rose markedly from 18 to 126, the doctor said this indicated a bacterial infection. (my sickness and diahorrea was a vivid green.)

 

Prior to the turkey/gammon salad, I had eaten at the same place the evening before, i had the carvery.

 

I'm just angry that i feel i've been fobbed off and i lost my long overdue week away. I really want to proceed with a strong letter to them letting them know i'm not happy and i would like to see the full report not just the part they want me to see.

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  • 1 month later...

Hello

I wrote back to tha brewery who passed everything on to their claims handler. They sent me a response just dismissing my complaint. Could someone advise if my response to them now is ok to send or should I just report to the environmental health officer. Thanks.

 

REPLYx1.jpg

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Honestly? I think you're on a hiding to nothing. :-(

 

He who accuses must prove. You are going to go to court with your symptoms + 1 more person and nothing else. They'll have the reports etc showing that their standards are good, their assertion that no-one else got sick etc... and sadly, on probability, I doubt anyone would be able to say with certainty that it was that meal which caused the gastro. Even if they did have other complaints, unless you can bring more witnesses, they are not going to reveal them.

 

Gastro is notoriously difficult to pin down to one reason. (I worked for years as an international medical assistance coordinator, and gastro is the bread and butter of the summer claims for assistance).

 

Put it this way, if I were from the brewery's side, I could plant enough doubt in the judges mind very easily:

We don't know what you had for breakfast or lunch. We don't know that you didn't have a drink somewhere which could have been contaminated (coffee from McDonald's, water from a tap etc). You could have gone to a loo and got the virus there: toilet seat, tap, door handle. Did you know that some doctors reckon that toilets should be kept completely separate from the rest of the bathroom, as the bacteria can travel far enough to contaminate your toothbrush (apologies to anyone reading this in the middle of breakfast!)? You could have shaken hands with someone who had a tummy bug, etc, etc...

 

At best, you can pinpoint it yourself to the food that night. BUT to convince the judge, you'd need more than that and the brewery will be able to cast enough doubts and I doubt you'd succeed. :-(

 

Sorry. :-(

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Bookworm

Thanks for that response. You have convinced me enough not to continue with this. I'm just angry with their blase' attitude. Am i allowed to ask to see the full report and evidence as to how many had the same choice as me?

 

Thank you again

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I Had Food Poisoning From A Well Known Pizza Chain.

I Know It Was Them As That Was All I Had To Eat

There Response Was A Meal Voucher For More Pizz

Unreal

 

The Symptoms Are Rather Early

I Would Expect 24 Hours For Any Symptoms

 

By The Way I Proved My Case With Out Going To Court.

My Food Bug Was Only Found In Sea Food

 

I Had A Sea Food Pizza

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Bookworm

Thanks for that response. You have convinced me enough not to continue with this. I'm just angry with their blase' attitude. Am i allowed to ask to see the full report and evidence as to how many had the same choice as me?

 

Thank you again

You can ask, but not under any legal right, neither SAR nor FOI would apply, as it is a private company, and they'll say no in all likelihood.

 

I quite understand your anger, I have had times where I had my suspicions about a meal which made me ill too, but I also know how it is virtually impossible to prove it without a whole raft of people coming down with the same.

 

The reality is that even if you are certain it was that meal, it could in fact have been something else. A fruit insufficiently washed. Something which for some reason on that day won't agree with you. A passing tummy bug. The possibilities are truly endless. A change of water/milk/diet/medication, etc etc etc... You know what I'm saying.

 

Wise decision to let it go, IMO. ;-)

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I would have thought that the original poster should have reported his concerns to the Environmental Health if he/she was convinced of the cause, so that the eating establishment could have been checked and assessed. Financial compensation would not be my goal, but the wish to prevent another diner suffering.

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