Food Poisoning Lawyers

food poisoning If you have ever contracted food poisoning, you know it’s 1-2 days in hell. Not only are you possibly up in your arms over your decision to eat something, but you are confined to the bed and your toilet for however long you feel symptoms. These can range from nausea, vomiting, watery or bloody diarrhea, abdominal cramps, and a fever.[1]

Food poisoning is no fun. Not only do you miss work, but you may have even more serious symptoms that require emergency treatment. Some people are more susceptible to the effects of food poisoning than others. Older adults and individuals with suppressed immune systems, or chronic illnesses can suffer from severe dehydration after food poisoning. People with weakened immune systems cannot produce a sufficient response capable of fending off pathogens, bacteria, viruses, or other infectious microorganisms. In these instances, you may need to receive intravenous fluids or antibiotics. If you have a weakened immune system, you may be more vulnerable to infectious disease.[2]

Food Tasting Occupations

What happens if you contracted food poisoning from something you ate at work? Depending on the circumstances, you may be eligible to receive workers’ compensation benefits. You may have an easier time obtaining workers’ compensation benefits depending on your occupation. People whose job it is to taste food may have a stronger case. These range from food critics and food bloggers, restaurant cooks, servers, bartenders, and sommeliers, which can possibly taste spoiled wine. Other occupations are professional tasters, food scientists, recipe tester/developers, cheese mongers, who manage cheese departments, bakers, and research chefs, who create new foods.[3] In essence, if the employer benefited from you eating the food, then it is related to your work.

Do You Qualify?

Clearly, there are a lot of occupations that involve tasting food as part of their job. But what if your job duties did not involve tasting food? You may still have a case on your hands. If your employer served or provided your food or drink, it would not be as difficult to prove your work-related injury. This is especially the case if food expenses were deducted from your wages. Or these may be on-the-job meals as a work benefit.

If your employer has a cafeteria designated only for employees, you may be entitled to workers’ compensation benefits. If the cafeteria also caters to the public, the burden of proof would be more difficult. In the case you purchased food from vendors such as lunch trucks or local caterers at your workplace, then you likely do not have a case.

Another little-known occupation that may qualify for workers’ compensation benefits are “secret” or “mystery” shoppers. These workers may be hired to eat at restaurants to taste the dishes of chefs, acting as normal customers. Their job is to ascertain the level of service at a particular establishment.

If you brought food from home and suffered from food poisoning, that would not qualify you for workers’ compensation benefits. The employer would not be responsible for food poisoning not directly related to work.

Precautions to Prevent Food Poisoning

Although not foolproof, there are some steps you can take to avoid food poisoning while eating out:

  • Look or ask around for certificates that show kitchen managers have completed food safety training.
  • Look for safe food-handling practices. If you can see that workers are not washing their hands while touching or preparing food, or if they are not using gloves, this may be a red flag. It may be as simple as a cashier retrieving a baked good for your purchase, but without using paper or plastic to separate their hand from the food.
  • Order food that’s cooked to a temperature that kills harmful bacteria. These foods are likely to be meat, chicken, poultry, and fish. If it is undercooked, do not eat it.
  • Avoid food that is not served at the appropriate temperature. Cold food should be served cold, and hot food should be served hot. Anything in-between or lukewarm for certain foods can lead to food poisoning. The “danger zone” is between 40- and 140-degrees Fahrenheit, where bacteria multiply.
  • Be careful of certain foods such as Caesar salad dressing, custards, tiramisu, hollandaise sauce, and mayonnaise. Make sure the eggs used in them are pasteurized.[4]

Next Steps

If you think you contracted food poisoning, you may notice your symptoms at home. If so, the next step you should take is seeking medical attention. You want to make sure that you properly treat your condition so that you recover as quickly as possible.

The next step you should take is calling your employer and notifying them of your situation. You don’t want to go back to work unless you feel better. Some foodborne illnesses are contagious, so you may be putting others at risk if you are not fully healed.

It is important that you report the incident to your employer as soon as possible. This will help you in filing a workers’ compensation case, It will also reduce the insurance company’s ability to make claims that can reduce or outright eliminate your workers’ compensation benefits.

Is Your Food Poisoning Work-Related? If so, Call Us Today.

If you are a victim of food poisoning, you may wonder whether it is work-related or not. You may have a reasonable suspicion that it is work-related. If so, it is important that you contact an experienced workers’ compensation attorney, who can help you obtain workers’ compensation benefits.

The choice of an attorney is a consequential one for many people. It can determine the amount of your workers’ compensation settlement, or even determine whether you receive a settlement at all. At The Workplace Lawyers, our attorneys have earned a reputation as NJ’s top workers’ compensation law firm for zealous representation. We make sure to cater to our clients in a way that other law firms don’t. If you would like additional information, our food poisoning injury lawyers are here to evaluate your case at no charge. Give us a call today and we will be happy to discuss your options. Or fill out a case form and we will reach out to you.


[1] Mayo Foundation for Medical Education and Research. (2020, June 26). Food Poisoning. Mayo Clinic. Retrieved May 3, 2022, from

[2] Tarantino, C. (n.d.). Suppressed Immune System: What is it, Causes, and More | Osmosis. Osmosis. Retrieved May 3, 2022, from

[3] Ronca, D. (2015, June 22). 10 Careers Where You Can Eat for a Living. HowStuffWorks. Retrieved May 3, 2022, from

[4] Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. (2022, January 6). Food Safety and Eating Out. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Retrieved May 3, 2022, from is the website for the workers compensation attorneys firm of Livingston, DiMarzio LLP Our team of attorneys is made up of New Jersey Mesothelioma Lawyers, NJ Workers Comp Lawyers, Employment Lawyers and Certified New Jersey Worker’s Compensation Attorneys.