If you wish to be part of the group that is demanding that such allegations are removed from TripAdvisor and other websites, then please visit 'Services For Hotels & Restaurants'.
Check Your Business
If we haven't already alerted you (there are many thousands of affected businesses), you can usually check if your business has been accused with a simple search - just enter the phrase ' food poisoning' followed by the name (and possibly location) of your business in to the search boxes on TripAdvisor and Google (particularly on Google Maps). If you are in any doubt, please contact us.
Suspected Food Poisoning - Responsible & Effective Responses
Food poisoning is a very serious issue. It causes at the very least extreme discomfort and can be fatal. In many countries, including the UK, the USA and Australia, it is classified as a notifiable infectious disease, which means medical practitioners must report cases to the authorities in order to help prevent further infection.
KwikChex provides services that protect and promote reputable businesses and help protect consumers.
We have found many thousands of anonymous posts on online review sites that accuse specific businesses of being responsible for food poisoning. These posts are unproven and in almost all cases are unreported to the proper authorities.
This can mean:
- That a blameless business can be very seriously defamed and damaged financially - either intentionally and maliciously with a fake review or because the accusation was not correct (food poisoning / gastrointestinal afflictions are complex and the causes are often not at the location initially suspected.)
- That members of the public are put at risk because a real case was posted on an unverifiable website instead of being reported correctly.
Our research suggests that 60% or even more of online accusations about food poisoning are probably false - either through lack of understanding or through intentionally malicious defamation. They are a licence for serious libel, because there can be no more effective or easier way to damage a business through falsehood than this.
This KwikChex initiative intends to fight the case of businesses accused in this way where no evidence exists, to stop businesses being maligned in this way in the future - and to help protect the public by properly identifying establishments that are actually responsible for causing illness.
KwikChex will represent businesses that claim defamation in a group action to remove such anonymous, unfounded and serious accusations from review sites, including TripAdvisor, which has over 10,000 review posts claiming food poisoning against named businesses.
We will be requesting that review sites do not permit such posts in future, unless a premises has been found to be the cause of illness by the proper authorities - because it is unethical, unsafe and probably unlawful.
We will request that instead of publishing such posts, reviews sites publish proper advice which encourages increased and accurate reporting in the future.
We will provide information on our site to assist consumers who suspect that they have suffered food poisoning. This will include methods of reporting and medical, insurance and legal advice resources.
Highlighting Excellence In Food Safety - And A new Initiative
In addition, KwikChex will be providing a new resource that will enable businesses that have been proven by the authorities to have exceptionally high standards of food safety and hygiene to promote their hard earned status to the public.
And a new KwikChex authenticated initiative will help consumers and the hospitality industry work together to help protect consumers, safeguard reputable businesses against unfounded or entirely false allegations, whilst also highlighting the very best eating establishments across the globe..
(From UK Environmental Health Department)
When people suffer sickness and diarrhoea they often suspect they are suffering from food poisoning. However, these symptoms can also result from viral infections, which may be airborne, or some other cause, and may not in fact be food related.
The Environmental Health Department will investigate reports of illness. Please contact us to report such illnesses or make a complaint about a food premises that you think might be linked to your illness.
It may not be due to your last meal
Very often, persons suffering from suspected food poisoning feel sure that the cause is the last meal eaten, especially if this happens to be a meal at a restaurant or takeaway.
But, food poisoning bacteria take quite a long time before actually making you ill. On average between 12-24 hours and sometimes longer. So it is more likely that the cause of the illness is something eaten the previous day or even 2-3 days earlier. Some illnesses can take up to 7 days before you show any symptoms.
Information & Advice For Consumers
In most countries, cases of suspected food poisoning should be reported to the local / regional authorities. We are currently compiling useful links in this regard.
In the UK, if you are unsure of how to make contact with your local authority, you can check with the central organisation,LACORS
In the EU, advice is provided by the European Food Safety Authority
In the USA, the CDC (Centers for Disease Control and Prevention) can provide further advice.
In Canada, you can contact the Canadian Food Inspection Agency
Australia & New Zealand - Food Standards
If you are or have been travelling abroad, contact your insurance company, tour operator / travel agent for advice.