Part I of III: Is Food Poisoning a Personal Injury?

Yes! Food poisoning is a personal injury and you are entitled to compensation against the restaurant, supermarket, packaging plant, distributor or vendor who sold it to you (or placed it in the stream of commerce).

In a greater context, we can call this subsection of personal injury: Food Injury.

The following are the most common types of Food Injuries that as personal injury attorneys we encounter:

  • Allergic reactions caused by food consumption
  • Contaminated food: Bacteria and causative organisms found in food
  • Objects found in the food that is consumed
  • Food causes a burn

Allergic Reactions

The best example of a compensable food injury case from an allergic reaction is when the customer tells the waiter they are allergic to a type of food (example: shell fish). Unfortunately the waiter forgets to tell the kitchen or the kitchen forgets, and the meal is prepared and served to the customer. The customer than ingest the food and almost immediately there is an adverse reaction.

Contaminated Food

Another example of a compensable food injury case is from contaminated food. Here you find the greatest number of cases. The most common example is that the contaminated food is not prepared and/or handled correctly causing harmful microorganisms to grow in the food. Once the food is ingested, it can cause a violent reaction.


One other example of a compensable food injury case is from objects found inside food. One real example is of a client who bit a small rock that was inside her food causing her teeth to crack (and subsequently had the tooth removed).

Food Burn

Last but not least, the food burn. Almost everyone can remember the famous McDonald’s food burning case. Although this case has been portrayed as frivolous, little did anyone know that McDonald’s intentionally made the coffee at hotter temperatures knowing that the strong smell of coffee would result in greater sales (although they knew that the coffee was scorching hot). Mrs. Liebeck suffered three degree burns in her pelvic region, spent one week in the hospital and had skin grafts.

In Part II of III of our Food Injury blog series: #5 Things To Do If You Suffer a Food Injury?, we will give advice on what to do if you suffer a food injury.

We are experienced personal injury trial lawyers in State and Federal Court. Insurance companies take us seriously. We fight to obtain the maximum compensation for you.

Contact us now for a free and confidential consultation to discuss your food injury case.

It does not cost you anything to hire us.

We are compensated only if we win.

We are here for you and your loved ones 24/7 because emergencies do happen.

Author: Gil Sanchez, Esq.

CEO & Senior Trial Attorney

Personal Injury | Complex Civil Litigation | Civil Rights

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