Your question answered: Can an employee claim workers’ compensation if they get sick eating another employee’s food?

By Portner Press on August 23rd, 2018
  1. Fire, Emergency & Incidents
  2. Workers' Compensation

 

Q
If workers bring home-cooked food into the workplace lunchroom and somebody gets sick, can they claim workers’ compensation? Sometimes food can be left on tables for the entire day without being refrigerated. The company does not have any policy/signage in place to ban shared homemade food, so would we be liable because we have not objected to it?

 

A
It is unlikely that workers’ compensation could be successfully claimed in this scenario, unless it was food actually supplied by the business.

Best practice is to implement policies about food safety and put up signs for people to clear away their food. It wouldn’t be practical to enforce a ban on sharing food, but you can include a statement in the policy that it is not recommended or supported by the business, given the potential risks involved.

Many businesses implement a policy of clearing out all fridges every Friday with any unlabelled food being tossed out.

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