How Restaurant Owners Should Respond to Accusations of Food Poisoning

A complaint about food poisoning is not something you want to hear as a restaurant owner, but there are ways to handle it properly. If confronted by a patron that claims to have suffered an illness due to food eaten from your establishment, you need to protect your assets and your reputation. Read on for a list of the steps to take if faced with this issue.

Address the Patron’s Concerns

If a customer ever approaches you to say that they contracted a foodborne illness from your restaurant, you need to listen to their concerns with understanding and sympathy, but refrain from speaking or doing anything that may seem like an admittance of guilt. This could cause issues if the matter escalates to a lawsuit.

Always prepare for such incidents by keeping your Dayville Restaurant Insurance policy up to date, so you remain covered and protected from financial losses. 

Get as much information from the patron as possible. Foodborne illness is tricky to pinpoint since symptoms can show up hours, or even days later. Use a form to document the incident and collect the individual’s basic information as well as the date it happened, the foods they ate, and any symptoms and treatment they had. Detailed records with dates and test results are essential.

Investigate the Incident

Once the matter is brought to your attention, you need to take action. You may wonder how to handle foodborne illness complaints. The best course forward is to collect as much information and evidence as you can.

Illness can be caused when food is contaminated, improperly prepared, or not stored correctly. Start by speaking with your entire kitchen staff, from the chef to the servers. Ask detailed questions about how the ingredients’ preparation, storage, and even where they came from. If possible, take samples of the same ingredients used in the patron’s meal and send them for testing. 

Report the Claim To the Health Department

Any time a customer makes an accusation of food poisoning, you need to report it to the Health Department so the incident is officially on record. Cooperate with them by sending any information they need, and giving them the results of your own findings. 

Communicate Your Findings

After you conduct your investigation, report your findings to the appropriate parties. If the patron’s illness was an isolated event and you could find no evidence of bad food or contaminants in your samples, then relay this information. Be courteous and express your empathy while stating that you found no wrongdoing. If the patron insists on pursuing the matter further, your Dayville Restaurant Insurance will help protect you from losses. 

Foodborne illnesses can be serious, and any claims of an illness originating from your restaurant need to be taken seriously. When you follow the correct procedure, you can navigate through difficult times more easily, while putting your patrons’ health first, and still maintaining your good reputation. 

About Byrnes Agency 

At Byrnes Agency, we offer insurance solutions that can be tailored to meet your specific needs. Whether you’re looking for personal policies or commercial coverage, we have the right coverage for you. To learn more about our products, contact us today at one of our two locations. 

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