Injuries from Restaurant Food

May 1, 2018 | Attorney, Matthew Dolman
Injuries from Restaurant Food

What are Food-Related Restaurant Injuries?

Despite their best efforts, restaurants play host to a number of personal injuries. The nature of these injuries can range from food poisoning due to bacterial contamination to stray bits of foreign objects being bit down on and fracturing the tooth of a restaurant patron. Either of these types of injuries can result in extensive recuperation time and expensive medical bills not to mention a degree of emotional and personal distress deserving of compensation.

What Foreign Objects can I Find in my Food?

The most typical of food-related injuries sustained in restaurants would be the damaging of the teeth or jaw due to biting down on foreign objects found in the food. A few examples of foreign objects encountered in food ordered from restaurants that have resulted in injuries include;
  • rocks
  • gravel
  • glass
  • metal
  • jewelry
  • wood
  • insects
  • cigarettes
  • chewing gum
  • feces
  • fingernails
  • plastics
  • rodents
  • bones and other animal parts

What kind of injuries can objects in my food cause?

Encountering these foreign objects in food can result in them being chewed and/or swallowed leading to injury of the jaw, throat, teeth, and tongue due to the object cutting with sharp edges or fracturing/breaking parts of the mouth due to unexpected hardness. There is also a chance of choking on the foreign object. This choking can in certain cases inflict brain injuries. If swallowed, a foreign object can possibly injure the intestines, stomach, and rectum. Foreign objects can include even ingredients that are not to be expected in a dish or are otherwise unlisted as ingredients. However, this does not mean that just because someone is injured by a fishbone in an order of trout they have a reasonable claim. The ingredient must be reasonably unexpected in the dish like chicken bones in a fudge dessert. Unlisted ingredients can possibly be even more dangerous than expected due to the possibility of an allergic reaction.

Foreign Objects Could Cause Food Poisoning

Less often but still possible is food poisoning which can be connected to foreign objects in food. Foreign objects can lead to food poisoning not only because of any obvious toxicity or contamination they might contain but also because foreign objects within food can interfere with the proper preparation and/or cooking of the food. This improper preparation can lead to the typical food poisoning risks associated with improperly prepared meals. The most common being bacteria and viruses such as
  • E. Coli
  • Salmonella
  • norovirus
  • Listeria
  • Staphylococcus aureus
  • Shigella
  • Campylobacter enteritis

Can I Pursue Compensation from Restaurants for Injuries?

First and foremost, remember to focus on recuperating from any injuries sustained and visit your doctor for the appropriate care. This is important since for any legal action to take place there must be some kind of injury. Simply finding a chunk of sharp metal in a bowl of soup does not mean that you can sue the restaurant in question. There must be a legitimate injury sustained. So if you had taken a bite of soup only to discover you have cut your mouth open on a piece of sharp metal then you would likely be entitled to look to for compensation from those responsible.

Proving Negligence in a Restaurant Food Injury Case

For a restaurant to be liable for an injury you sustained from the food they prepared for you they must be found to be negligent. Now what that means is that the restaurant has failed to do everything possible within reason to protect the customer and due to that the customer is injured. The court would consider the restaurant to have failed in its duty to care for the customer and therefore be found negligent of their basic duty of providing safe to eat food. The circumstances of the injury must also be proven to have been foreseeable by the restaurant, therefore, making them at fault for not taking action. A foreseeable event would be something like the restaurant not taking precautions against pests and therefore the food is contaminated because it is foreseeable that in the absence of proper pest control, food runs a high risk of contamination. Unforeseeable for example would be something random like a customer accidentally breaking a glass of wine and cutting themselves in the process.

What Should I Do if I get Injured from a Restaurant's Food?

If you have had a food-related injury of the kind aforementioned in this article then you should prioritize getting medical attention first. However, if you have the opportunity there are several things you can do in order to maximize the chance that you will be able to pursue compensation from the parties responsible.
  • If possible keep the food exactly the way it was upon discovery of the foreign object and do not let the restaurant take it back
  • Inform the restaurant management of the injury immediately
  • Request a written report of the incident from the restaurant while you are there
  • Obtain a receipt or some kind of written proof of purchase of the meal
  • Identify exactly what element of the dish caused the injury
  • Have a witness that can verify how you ate the food and received the injury
  • Have medical or dental records from before the injury to prove it is the cause
  • Make sure the food is preserved by storing in a refrigerator or freezer
  • Take pictures of the injury and responsible food

Pursuing a Personal Injury Case after Restaurant Food Injury

By following these steps as soon as possible you will make the proving of liability for your injuries and substantiating of your claim much easier. Remember that in order to effectively pursue reparations for damages caused by food from a liable restaurant you must prove that the restaurant or food distributor's negligence was what caused the injury. If you have suffered a food-related injury while eating out at a restaurant then please contact Dolman Law Group Accident Injury Lawyers, PA for consultation on how to go about dealing with your injury claim. The personal injury lawyers at Dolman Law Group Accident Injury Lawyers, PA have extensive experience in providing the expertise required to ensure that you receive the compensation necessary for any injuries and damages incurred. Please feel free to contact us with any questions. You can reach us in one of these 3 ways:
  • Call Dolman Law Group Accident Injury Lawyers, PA at (727) 451-6900
  • Complete this online contact form
  • Click the Live Chat button in the bottom right corner of this page


Matthew Dolman

Personal Injury Lawyer

This article was written and reviewed by Matthew Dolman. Matt has been a practicing civil trial, personal injury, products liability, and mass tort lawyer since 2004. He has successfully fought for more than 11,000 injured clients and acted as lead counsel in more than 1,000 lawsuits. Always on the cutting edge of personal injury law, Matt is actively engaged in complex legal matters, including Suboxone, AFFF, and Ozempic lawsuits.  Matt is a lifetime member of the Million Dollar Advocates Forum and Multi-Million Dollar Advocates Forum for resolving individual cases in excess of $1 million and $2 million, respectively. He has also been selected by his colleagues as a Florida Superlawyer and as a member of Florida’s Legal Elite on multiple occasions. Further, Matt has been quoted in the media numerous times and is a sought-after speaker on a variety of legal issues and topics.

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