Customers are allowed by law to file a complaint and hold your venue responsible for food poisoning. While this complaint might not be verified, you should be prepared to tackle such issues.
According to a recent study from the Food Standard Agency, there are more than 500,000 cases of food poisoning every year. Almost half of these cases are caused by poultry meat with an estimated 244,000 cases per year.
Products including vegetables, fruit, nuts and seeds are also common food poisoning triggers
Here are our best tips to help you deal with alleged food poisoning incidents.
7 Recommended actions:
- Ensure that all relevant staff are trained in food safety
- Take each case seriously and be concerned – you are sorry to hear that a guest has been unwell and hope they will get well soon
- Only allow managers to speak to the guest and take the details of the allegation
- Allow customers to explain their concerns. Only form a response once they have finished
- Explain that a procedure is in place for such situations and that you are required to follow it
- Explain what the procedure is and what the guest can expect. (i.e. independent third party investigation such as Food Alert’s Food poisoning allegations management)
- Explain that an independent company, will carry out the investigation and will contact them to determine further information
5 Things you should never do if you receive an allegation of food poisoning:
- Do not state specific time frames, only estimated ones if requested.
- Do not tell the customer that no other cases have been received.
- Do not comment if you have received any other allegations.
- Do not tell the customer that you sell a lot of the food in question with no problems
- Do not make any statements that question their case. (e.g. their symptoms occurred too quickly for it to be food poisoning)