Did You Get Food Poisoning Onboard a Cruise Ship? You May Be Entitled to Financial Compensation
As a cruise ship passenger, you rely on the cruise line to serve safe and consumable snacks and meals. You pay for quality, chef-prepared meals, and you expect the cruise line to follow appropriate kitchen cleanliness and food handling protocols and procedures. Unfortunately, as a cruise passenger, reality doesn’t always meet your expectations. Food poisoning is a risk many cruise passengers encounter; and, as a result, many passengers find themselves in need of a cruise ship restaurant negligence lawyer.
We Handle Food Poisoning Cases Against All Cruise Lines and Cruise Restaurants
Our firm handles food poisoning cases against all cruise lines and cruise restaurants. From cafeterias and cafés to restaurants run by celebrity chefs, all food sources on cruise ships present risks for foodborne illnesses. Since cruise lines have a legal obligation to ensure that they are serving safe food and drink to their passengers (among other safety-related legal obligations), passengers who experience foodborne illnesses onboard a cruise ship will be able to sue the cruise line in many cases.
Common Causes of Food Poisoning Onboard Cruise Ships
In most cases, food poisoning onboard cruise ships can be linked to one of four main causes. Most passengers who suffer from food poisoning get sick as a result of:
Improper Food Handling and Safety Practices
Serving expired foods, failing to enforce kitchen sanitation practices, cross-contamination and other issues involving improper food handling and safety practices are among the leading causes of food poisoning onboard cruise ships. When cruise ship restaurants fail to follow proper food handling and safety practices, they can—and should—be held accountable when passengers get sick.
Raw and Undercooked Foods
Serving raw and undercooked foods is another common cause of food poisoning for cruise passengers. While some foods are safe to eat raw or undercooked, many are not. From hiring inexperienced cooks to rushing to serve passengers during scheduled dinner hours, various issues can be to blame in these cases. However, none of them are excuses for causing patients to fall ill and potentially face serious or life-threatening complications.
Self-Service (Buffet) Dining Options
Self-service dining options, including buffets, are common onboard cruise ships. While these dining options can and should be safe, they often are not. From failing to maintain foods at safe temperatures to failing to install shields to prevent passengers from spreading viruses through food contamination, various forms of cruise ship negligence can be responsible for passengers’ food poisoning in these cases.
Unclean Cruise Ship Kitchens
Uncleanliness and inadequate sanitation in cruise ship kitchens are to blame for many passengers’ foodborne illnesses. While many cruise lines keep public areas spotless, it is often a much different story behind the scenes. Bacteria, mold, pests and various other health risks that can—and should—be prevented frequently leave passengers in need of medical care.
Common Types of Cruise Ship Food Poisoning and Restaurant Negligence Claims
These and other issues can lead to various types of food poisoning onboard cruise ships. Our firm handles all types of cruise ship food poisoning and restaurant negligence claims, including those involving:
Cruise Ship E. Coli, Listeria, Salmonella and Shigella Claims
- coli, listeria, salmonella and shigella are all common bacteria that can cause food poisoning. The symptoms of illnesses caused by all of these bacteria are similar, and they all present similar risks for complications as well.
Cruise Ship Norovirus Claims
Norovirus is among the most common types of food poisoning onboard cruise ships. Passengers can contract norovirus from unrinsed fruits and vegetables, undercooked shellfish, unwashed utensils, and various other sources. Norovirus causes a condition called gastroenteritis, in which the stomach lining and intestines become inflamed.
Cruise Ship Viral Illness Claims
Contamination of foods in cruise ship kitchens and on cruise ship buffet lines can cause passengers to contract viral illnesses including flu and COVID-19. If you contracted a viral illness on a cruise because the cruise line failed to follow appropriate food safety practices, a cruise ship food poisoning lawyer can help you pursue a claim for just compensation.
What To Do if You Suspect Food Poisoning Onboard a Cruise Ship
Common symptoms of food poisoning include fever, vomiting, diarrhea, dry mouth, dry throat, nausea, stomach cramps and an upset stomach. But, as the CDC notes, “[a]fter you swallow an unsafe (contaminated) food or drink, it may take hours or days to develop symptoms.” As a result, even if you don’t experience symptoms immediately after eating onboard a cruise ship, your symptoms could still be indicative of food poisoning. If you have any reason to suspect that you may be experiencing food poisoning onboard a cruise ship, you should:
- If possible, take photos of the food source from which you believe you got sick. Regardless of whether you are able to take photos, write down the name of the restaurant, the date and time you dined, the specific food or foods you ate, and the symptoms you experienced.
- Report your illness to a staff member immediately and visit the cruise ship’s medical facility for a diagnosis and treatment.
- Talk to your family members or other cruise passengers to find out if they also got sick after dining at one of the cruise ship’s restaurants.
- Follow the cruise ship doctor’s advice while you are onboard, and avoid doing anything that could make your condition worse (i.e. eating foods that can cause inflammation or exercising vigorously).
- Contact a cruise ship food poisoning lawyer to discuss filing a claim against the cruise line. If you have a claim, a lawyer may be able to help you recover compensation for your medical expenses, pain and suffering, and other losses.
Talk to a Cruise Ship Food Poisoning Lawyer for Free
If you need to know more about filing a claim against a cruise ship for food poisoning or restaurant negligence, we encourage you to contact us for a free consultation. Call 800-499-0551 or tell us how we can reach you online to discuss your legal rights in confidence today.