What lies beneath: Liability for foreign items in food

Stories of unusual objects found in food or drinks abound, with high potential for injury if the object is not spotted before consumption. Should this result in an injury, defending the claim can be challenging due to the evidence that is likely to be available

Case study; the defendant manufacturer had received other complaints which made it difficult to rule out entirely the possibility of the claimant being credible the claimant had called the customer care line relatively promptly on the day after the accident, supporting his credibility, photographs of the lump of glass were provided, although the actual piece of glass was not. That he was eating a dessert manufactured by the defendant when the injury occurred the injury was in fact caused by a piece of glass and if so; the piece of glass was present before the opening of the dessert. 

Out come Launching a defence Maintain records of regular checks and investigations of production areas and machinery.

Keep a detailed record of any initial complaints received. Any subsequent deviation from this can be particularly harmful to a Claimant’s credibility.

Request that the product and foreign object are preserved at the outset when the complaint is first made.

Request that the product and foreign object is provided for inspection as soon as possible to enable independent tests to be carried out.


The content of this page is a summary of the law in force at the date of publication and is not exhaustive, nor does it contain definitive advice. Specialist legal advice should be sought in relation to any queries that may arise.