Last Sunday night I cooked dinner for myself at home. On Monday morning I felt fine, ate my usual breakfast of juice, coffee and toast and went to work still feeling fine. I had lunch at a cafe in St Kilda, a place I had never heard of before and which I knew nothing about. At about 1.30pm I ordered the chorizo, feta and fennel salad, pictured below, and it was tasty.

chorizofetafennelsalad what do you do when you get food poisoning from a restaurant?

I had nothing further to eat or drink (apart from water) for the rest of the day. After work I cycled to South Yarra to see a film at the Italian Film Festival at the Como and then I cycled home feeling increasingly unwell. By about 10pm I talking to the porcelain telephone from both ends, and I continued to do this for several hours.

I slept badly and called in sick on Tuesday. I felt like I had extreme flu, aching all over and feeling extremely weak. I was likely to be food poisoning, and given the circumstances it was likely that my lunch was the cause.

I emailed the cafe on Monday night about 10.30pm:


I had the chorizo feta and fennel salad for lunch at your cafe today and I now have food poisoning, vomiting and diarrhea. I’m telling you so you can check your kitchen.

Note that I was careful only to describe the circumstances and that I did not blame them for my symptoms. I cannot prove that this meal caused my sickness, and I did not go to the doctor because while it felt horrible it did not seem serious enough to warrant it.

It’s now six days later and I have received no response. This is simply not good enough. Having subsequently read some reviews, it is a cafe that has offered coupon deals this year. If I’d known that I would not have eaten there, as I view this as a sign of a business that is failing (and which therefore may be trying to save money and cut corners in the kitchen).

The responsible thing to do is to report them to the health inspectors at the local government, the City of Port Phillip, which I will do. If you have had a similar experience, what did you do about it? Did you report it to the restaurant, and how did they respond?

what do you do when you get food poisoning from a restaurant?

5 thoughts on “what do you do when you get food poisoning from a restaurant?

  • 14 October 2012 at 11:37 am

    I’ve had food poisoning a few times and like you, contacted the establishment. Like you, a reply was not forthcoming so in future I avoided that venue.

    A pity: I believe that a customer has a responsibility to notify businesses about any issues, but the business in turn should respond appropriately.

    • 16 October 2012 at 4:26 pm

      Exactly. A good response would read something like:

      Thanks for your email. We are sorry to hear about your experience but believe our kitchen was not responsible. We have not received any similar feedback, but have reminded our staff to maintain our high food hygeine standards. We passed our last food safety inspection in February. If you wish to make a complaint, please contact the City of Port Phillip. Yours sincerely.

      It’s not hard to do good PR that calms an unhappy customer. The failure to even acknowledge my email is a fundamental PR fail.

  • 15 October 2012 at 10:45 am

    What do you want them to reply? You did not tell them that you have no idea if it even was food poisoning. Check the kitchen? So what does that entail? You’re a freak I always laugh my head off when I visit your site.

  • 15 October 2012 at 11:04 pm

    Had violent reaction to dinner Friday night. Just going to slag the place off to friends and never go there again. Is there a point to contacting them? They’ never admit it for legal reasons.

    • 16 October 2012 at 4:20 pm

      There is in terms of protecting others if they investigate their food hygeine practices, find problems and fix them, even if they don’t admit to them.


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