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Can Food Delivery Companies Be Responsible for Foodborne Illness?

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Various technologies are making food delivery services easier than ever. With new services such as Uber Eats and DoorDash, more and more people are opting to have their meals delivered.

Evansville doesn’t have many national delivery chains, but on March 19, NoshSquad launched right in our city. The food delivery service delivers food right to the door of anyone within 25 miles of Evansville.

Many are thrilled with the new convenience these various companies are bringing to our city. However, with new innovations come new legal questions. Who is responsible if you are made ill from the food you order? Originally, there were only two parties involved in the process: you and the restaurant. Now, adding a new party can change the case all together.

When the Restaurant Is Responsible

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The restaurant will be held liable in many of these cases. It is the restaurant’s responsibility to ensure preparation of the food is sanitary and the ingredients used aren’t spoiled. In addition, the restaurant should be sure to give strict instructions for the delivery. The restaurant should not advertise delivery to any residences that are too far from the restaurant and could cause specific foods to spoil on the drive. The restaurant should also make sure to report any allergen in the meal’s ingredients to potential customers.

When the Deliverer Is Responsible

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Typically, the person delivering the food will only be held responsible if there was a clear breach in responsibility. For example, if the restaurant gave specific instructions on how to deliver the food and the deliverer neglected to follow these instructions, any illnesses could be contributed to the deliverer. In addition, if the deliverer neglected to deliver the food immediately after pickup, this could be seen as a breach in responsibility and could allow the deliverer to be held responsible in the case of any illness related to the food.

When You Are Responsible

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Though it is the restaurant’s responsibility to properly prepare the food and the deliverer’s responsibility to get it to you safely, it is your responsibility to heed any reheating or allergen warnings. For example, if the restaurant advertises that the food has gluten in it, it is your responsibility to avoid the food if you have a gluten allergy. In addition, if you fail to eat the food upon delivery and it spoils over time, it is no longer the restaurant’s liability, but your own.

Help from an Evansville Personal Injury Attorney

If you were made ill after ordering food from one of the new delivery services, and you believe the restaurant or delivery person is responsible for your illness, you could receive compensation to make up for any loss of income or medical bills accumulated because of this illness. Call Hensley Legal Group today for a free consultation, or contact us online.