What to Do if a Guest Claims They Got Sick From Your Restaurant

An accusation of causing someone to get sick in your restaurant can damage your restaurant’s reputation and be costly. Food safety should always be a priority to help avert these claims. One of the best ways you can avoid accusations of causing someone to get sick from food in your restaurant is to follow the strictest food safety guidelines in your restaurant. According to the World Health Organization, there are about 200 diseases spread through unsafe food handling.

The Accusation Can Be Devastating

In today’s world, the accusation of food poisoning against a food venue can spread like wildfire. Social media posts can easily go viral and spread the news quickly. It can be very difficult, if not impossible, to come back from this type of accusation.

Food poisoning can stem from the improper handling of food. Safe storage, proper cooking, and avoiding cross-contamination is a must in any restaurant to be able to fight back against these accusations.

How to Handle the Claim

Your first instinct when you are contacted by a guest about food poisoning from your establishment is likely to apologize. Do not apologize. Apologizing to the customer is acknowledging guilt to the court. You can say, “I am sorry you are not feeling well,” but do not say, “I am sorry the food made you sick.” Instead, collect information.

Ask the customer what they ate that made them sick and when their symptoms started. Find out if others in their group who they dined with are ill as well. You also should inquire if they sought medical help.

Investigate Your Kitchen

Once you have received the claim and have more information about what the customer ate, you should evaluate your kitchen for food safety practices. A busy kitchen can sometimes take shortcuts that can jeopardize food safety. Talk to the staff and make notes of anything that may have been amiss. Make corrections to your kitchen’s food safety practices if necessary.

Make Sure Your Kitchen Staff Is Certified

ServSafe certification for your kitchen staff can help to avoid accusations of food poisoning by ensuring that your kitchen staff never takes shortcuts. ServSafe certification can help your restaurant fight back against unfounded claims of food poisoning. Learn more about ServSafe certification and training today.