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The Legal Ramifications of Food Poisoning

May 10, 2024
The Legal Ramifications of Food Poisoning
Legal Ramifications of Food Poisoning

Food handlers have more responsibility than they might think. Customers trust food handlers to prepare food safely and keep it free from contaminants. As such, mistakes can result in severe health consequences for the consumers who place their trust in food handlers.

It can also lead to legal repercussions.

Let’s dive into some of the legal ramifications of food poisoning and how you can avoid ever experiencing them for yourself.

The Risks of Food Handling

Whenever you’re talking about food and beverages, there’s always going to be the risk of getting sued. Whether it’s someone spilling a drink on themselves or tripping on the way back from picking up a carryout order, it’s just a risk associated with serving food. As a food handler, you accept certain risks when you agree to employment:

  • Medical risks: both for yourself and the people you serve
  • Legal risks: if someone’s health is endangered by food
  • Reputational risks: if someone gets sick at your establishment
  • Financial risk: if any of the above risks result in a consequence

How to Prevent Food Poisoning

The good news is that a little prevention goes a long way when it comes to avoiding the legal ramifications of food poisoning. Here are a few best practices to follow when it comes to preventing food poisoning:

  • Adhere to safety regulations: guidelines are there for a reason, so be sure to follow them when it comes to washing hands, avoiding cross contamination, maintaining proper storage, cooking and holding at proper temperatures and cleaning/sanitizing.
  • Training and education: ensure all employees handling food are not only trained by one of the leaders on your team but have the proper education as well. A food handlers card is required within two months of being hired in a foodservice job, so make sure your team members don’t miss out on the valuable information they’ll learn during the course.
  • Keeping accurate records: there are more documentation opportunities than you might think when it comes to food. Not only should dates be documented on anything storing food, but food temperatures, cleaning schedules and employee training can all be documented, which helps with being proactive (and in case there’s an instance of food poisoning).

If you’d like to learn more about food poisoning and food laws related to food safety, consider signing up for the food handler course from American Course Academy today.

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