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To complain to pub/restaurant where I'm almost certain I had food poisoning from?

(43 Posts)
TheDetective Sun 23-Nov-14 00:30:53

I went out for lunch yesterday afternoon. Not long after eating I began to feel tired and sore. I'd done a night shift the night before, and I'm 9 weeks pregnant, so put it down to those.

I actually fell asleep about 4pm and woke at 11pm with horrendous stomach cramps. The pain was intense, and I vomited and had the runs at the same time blush.

MIL (who I had taken for lunch for her birthday) had text me to say she had the runs also. We had identical meals (starters and mains) which was a chicken dish. Toddler DS was the only other person with us. He didn't eat what we did. He has been fine.

After the first episode I went back to bed, til I woke at 6am with the same pain.

By 7am I was screaming in agony with it coming from both ends. I started to feel like I was going to faint while I was still sat on the toilet. The next thing I know is I'm face down on the bathroom floor.

I've bust my face, got a very nasty lip and eye. I also started with low down uterine cramps as well as stomach cramps.

After ringing 111 for advice as I was having double vision, feeling dizzy and continuing to vomit, I spent a lovely morning in A&E.

All is well now, apart from feeling like I've been run over by a bus.

MIL wants us to complain to the place we ate. But I've not had a stool sample, so can't prove it was definitely food poisoning, and it was definitely from there.

AIBU to complain without concrete proof?

uggmum Sun 23-Nov-14 00:36:54

I wouldn't call the restaurant. I would call environmental health. They will arrange samples and investigate on your behalf.

If you call the restaurant first it will tip them off and any evidence would disappear. I speak on bitter experience.

whois Sun 23-Nov-14 00:37:53

I'm on the fence. I think it would be totally fair to complain but I'm not sure is get round to it, I mean, you're not going to want a free meal there and they aren't going to change anything on the back of your complaint so there doesn't seeem loads of point.

BitterHoneyGreenNight Sun 23-Nov-14 00:41:09

Contacting environmental health would be a better bet.

InglouriousBasterd Sun 23-Nov-14 00:41:55

I had this at a well known chain pub once - both myself and DD had the same meal and had terrible runs / vomiting that started at exactly the same time. Tipped of environmental health who said that they couldn't be sure as no stool sample etc., but they would do a surprise visit and have a word with the pub in question. Worth a quick email.

MarchEliza Sun 23-Nov-14 00:42:35

Poor you that sounds terrible and very worrying at 9 weeks pregnant!

I suppose 'the point' would be that if they are serving dangerous food to you than others could potentially suffer too and getting them investigated might prevent someone else going through this.

TrickoftheMind Sun 23-Nov-14 00:44:31

Did A&E not take a sample from you?

Environmental health will investigate it. If you have had a sample done and it grows something they will automatically be informed. If you haven't had a sample you could give them a ring. There is a bit of viral gastroenteritis around at the moment though, it may be that.

TinkerbellaPan Sun 23-Nov-14 00:51:15

You could review them online on trip advisor, google reviews and anywhere else you can find. You might prevent someone else from suffering if they read reviews before they go.

TheDetective Sun 23-Nov-14 00:51:35

No, as that wasn't the main concern. I hit my head when I fainted, and was disorientated, dizzy and having double vision. By the time I got to a&e I was over the worst of the d&v, and as it was only 11 hours I wasn't dehydrated. Although they did give me IV fluids for low blood pressure and some cyclizine for the vomiting.

They just did a neuro exam, ECG, bloods and then sent me to gynae for an ultrasound to check the uterine cramps out.

Eeeeekyeeek Sun 23-Nov-14 00:53:38

You could both have picked up norovirus which does cause the symptoms you describe and is pretty rife at the moment.

Or it could have been campylobacter food poisoning, which has similar symptoms.

You do need to inform env health, they will ask for a stool sample which they will check. The hospital will not ask for this as a matter of course (in my experience anyway).

Don't be calling the pub - you can't prove anything and it will get you nowhere.

Hope you feel better soon - I've been floored by both campylobacter and noro and both were awful.

TheDetective Sun 23-Nov-14 00:54:06

I actually looked up environmental health earlier. They have a list of establishments. I tried all options to find it so I could write a report. But it wasn't there.

I double checked I had the right council page - I did. But it just wouldn't come up.

So I couldn't report it today.

It's a large pub, well established etc. can't understand why it wasn't to be found!

Viviennemary Sun 23-Nov-14 00:59:58

No point in contacting the restaurant. They'll just say it was nothing to do with them. But I agree you should report this to environmental health on Monday if they aren't open today.

sandgrown Sun 23-Nov-14 01:19:10

A bit harsh to.post negative reviews everywhere until.you have proved it is the pub' s fault. My ex had a restaurant where a man accused them of giving him food poisoning and told everyone who would listen. Environmental Health were involved and it turned out it came from canned meatballs he had eaten at home!

LuluBrush Sun 23-Nov-14 01:42:01

I used to work as an Environmental Health Officer and I used to deal with food poisoning outbreaks (but this was a long time ago so things may have changed..)

It could be food poisoning and it could be a virus. You can't tell from your description.

If A&E thought it may be food poisoning then it will automatically be reported to environmental health and they should contact you.

I would contact the pub but I would tell them that you are just advising them that you have had food poisoning type symptoms and that you thought they should know. Don't accuse them of anything as it might not be them. I would send an email to the pub and to the head office. You can tell them that you are contacting EH so they can investigate.

Hope you are feeling better.

albertcamus Sun 23-Nov-14 04:16:30

You must be careful of yourself & DC in case it was salmonella. I had this when young, strong & 19 from an undercooked KFC and my symptoms were exactly as you describe. Due to a longer-term increased risk of bowel cancer, a drug combo has been developed to support bowel recovery, which includes a relevant antibiotic. Well done for surviving, it was horrendous for me. flowers to you and DC

fanjoforthemammaries7850 Sun 23-Nov-14 05:52:43

Surely is rather unlikely she and her MIL came down with a virus at exactly the same time

PiperIsTerrysChoclateOrange Sun 23-Nov-14 06:40:49

It does sound like food poisoning, onset of symptoms happen within 2-6 hours.

It would be highly unlikely that both came down with nuro virus at the same time.

Hope you manage to get hold of EH

HelenBrx Sun 23-Nov-14 08:26:22

LuluBrush - you say that A&E would automatically report suspected food poisoning to Environmental Health (and include your details so they could contact you). Surely that would not allowed under patient confidentiality?

Witcheswerehorses Sun 23-Nov-14 08:26:25

There is no certainty of food poisoning at this point. I find it very odd that a&e didn't take a sample from you under the circumstances. Suspected food poisoning in pregnancy should always be reported to a doctor according to nhs guidelines. FWIW, mil, dh and I all came down with noro virus at the same time because we picked it up from the same person during the same contact time with them. Get a sample to your gp and find out for certain.

Iseesheep Sun 23-Nov-14 09:05:37

Passing on patient details for something like this is OK I think. When I had E Coli Public Health tracked me down pretty quickly!

HelenBrx Sun 23-Nov-14 09:15:00

Iseesheep - thanks for answering my question. I've learned something there!

OhYouBadBadKitten Sun 23-Nov-14 09:22:57

They may both have picked up noro from the pub. After all, there was a rather famous case of that happening in a place owned by a celeb chef.

I would definitely phone environmental health tomorrow, because even if they don't get a sample from you, if other diners have gone down with a bug too then they can put a case together. If you caught it from there then it is unlikely that it would be just the two of you suffering.

Nomama Sun 23-Nov-14 09:23:49

No, no, no. Onset of symptoms is not a couple of hours. It is 1 - 3 days.

www.nhs.uk/conditions/food-poisoning/Pages/Introduction.aspx

This may be why no samples were taken at A&E. Symptoms can start earlier, if the food was highly contaminated or you ate a huge amount, but 1 or more days is more usual.

Please don't report the pub, you are more likely to have picked up a bug or, if it is food poisoning, got it elsewhere.

Nomama Sun 23-Nov-14 09:25:28

Sorry, posted early, I should have edited that last sentence.

Please don't automatically blame the pub, do report it just in case. But it is more likely.... etc

fanjoforthemammaries7850 Sun 23-Nov-14 09:33:42

Some food poisoning can start within hours

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