Food Poisoning in Dubai : How it was dealt with

I organised my little girl’s birthday lunch at a pizza joint in a mall, not too far from home one Friday. The team were very helpful all throughout – from assisting my many queries beforehand, helping to set the table up, and accommodating the needs of 11 very excited, noisy kids.

It was a fabulous birthday and my girl was very happy, as was I.

The following day, my husband started having stomach discomforts. The diarrhoea (Part 1 of 15) started. Then it was my turn, add on vomitting to that. Thankfully just one of my three kids was unwell – with a slight fever, and nothing else.

Other than my husband and I, 2 other adults at the party were sick – with similar symptoms. Other than my daugther, 4 of the kids present at the party got sick too – to different degrees : one had slight stomach pains and diarrhoea, one threw up and had stomach pains, another had diarrhoea, and another was vomitting so much they took him to the hospital. That’s 4 adults, 5 kids unwell, out of a total of 24 guests.

Now, we all know that - shit happens. Literally. 

I would also say that I am a fairly reasonable person. So – I sent a whatsapp to the restaurant manager to explain what had happened – see snapshot below.

She replied me quite promptly with “Ciao Mam. I’ll take a look at it mam.”

At 6pm that evening , she finally rang to ask how the family was doing. She then went on in a very detailed explanation that they checked their inventory – everything that was used as part of the pizzas that we ordered, and after a long explanation -basically – everything was good.

That’s it.

It was a really odd conversation.

So I said, are you saying that we all got sick, but it wasn’t from the restaurant?

And she said that we did bring in a cake that day.

So I started to explain that everyone present at the party had the cake, but not everyone had the same pizzas.

But hey – who knows right? It’s always one of those – could have been this, could have been that – scenario.

So I told her.

It’s good that the team checked the inventory and it’s good to know that it was fine. I would have appreciated an apology and a bit of concern, regardless if it was your fault or not.

A ‘I am so sorry to hear that you and all your guests got sick,” the moment I sent the whatsapp, would have meant the world. Or a phonecall promptly after to say the same.

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There was no apology, all throughout. It was just a long explanation to say it was absolutely not their fault.

When I did tell her what I thought, she then started to apologize.

I don’t know ay.

I don’t work in F&B, so I can understand maybe she was worried that I brought this case forward and they got into trouble or something, I really don’t know.

But from my side – a customer, a patron, someone who adores the hospitality industry in Dubai – my advice to restaurants going forward is – if this ever happens to you, please tell your staff to show a little bit of remorse, and just apologize. It means the world.

9 guests were either throwing up, or shitting themselves for over 24 hours after a birthday party. That’s pretty bad for them, and for me, as the host. Regardless if it was the restaurant’s fault or not, if a guest brought it up to you – a sincere ‘I am so sorry to hear that’, would have meant the world.

Just ranting.

Thoughts? I would love to hear from those on the other side- how have you dealt with cases like this?

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Dubai resident. Stays most of the time in the marina as she can't be bothered going anywhere else after work and in the weekends. Originally from the land of the orang utans, spent the latter half of her life in the land down under. Always on the look out for deals, loves organising get-togethers, and occasionally steals some time for a sip of wine or four at ladies nights.

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