Food poisoning is a fact that many of us experience once in a lifetime. However, depending on the infection and the disease, food poisoning can lead to major and permanent damages. Whilst it is simply preventable, food poisoning can occur from contaminated consumer goods, vegetables and insufficiently cooked meat.
For some time, uncommon infections such as E.coli, Salmonella and Listeria caused fatalities and severe illnesses at great numbers. While the penalties for such negligence is very harsh, the restaurant owners and packaged goods manufacturers are likely to face legal action as their lack of care to their products is determined as a serious violation of laws.
What are the potential hazards in restaurants and coffee shops?
These businesses should provide their services at accepted standards to provide safety and prevent legal sanctions. Although the potential risks seem very limited, almost every object in a restaurant or a coffee shop can lead to adverse situations if not maintained correctly or sufficiently. As an example, slippery floors might not be visible to the person that is not aware of. However, slip and fall injuries are the most encountered accidents in public liability claims.
As taking a hit to the head can lead to major health problems, even such simple risks should be eliminated at all costs. Another example is the overheated objects in similar businesses. Second and third-degree burns can easily cause permanent marks on the body and depending on the situation, the victim’s injuries can affect his/her quality of life and capacity to perform daily exercises.
On similar occasions, the businesses can do their share of responsibility by taking responsible care. The crowd should be warned by the potential risks. These warnings should be visible and sufficient. As an example, in popular coffeehouses, the businesses handle this situation by labelling their products and marking them as hot objects. Which is mostly a sufficient way to avoid liability, as the others are now aware of the risks.
However, even in businesses that are focusing on beverages or as in the previous example, in coffees, responsibilities aren’t only limited to the products they are providing. Unmaintained environment objects such as glasses, mounted and hung objects, air conditioning units, lightings and business equipment can lead to unexpected but harmful situations. From another perspective, visitors or customers can take harm from contaminated products.
A simple coffee being served in a coffee shop contains three simple ingredients. Coffee itself, sugar and cream or milk. Commonly all three of them can be poisonous if the expiration dates exceed. In 2020, a well-known and highly demanded consumer goods brand recalled their products to prevent an outbreak, and the quantity of the products pulled from the shelves cost more than millions to the business. However, as a part of their responsibilities, it has to done to prevent further sanctions.
Potential dangers in consumer goods
Supermarkets and similar establishments are obliged to keep track of their product lines. Even if the manufacturer provided the market with an undefective product, the market should make sure the products aren’t expired or kept in a good condition that poses no risk to the consumers. However, packaged goods can still pose a risk as the retailer has no obligation and no chance to check what is inside the package. Sausages are semi-cooked ready to consume products that still involve risk, as the failures in the manufacturing process can contaminate these products, and diseases such as Salmonella and E.coli are mostly encountered in similar products.
Under the laws, in Australia, those who provide a service either as serving consumer goods or any other profit-oriented businesses should perform at acceptable standards. If their products or services caused harm to the consumer, legal action can be taken against them to recover the victim’s loss. Under Civil Liability Act, intentional or unintentional, if the victim has taken harm which could be preventable by the business, public liability compensation can be claimed, and the business may be determined as liable.