In this article, Food Safety Expert, Barry Parsons discusses the topic of burns and scalds that occur in relation to foodservice operations. The topics for discussion include the responsibilities of the customer and the food service establishment in preventing scalding injuries. The article also touches on food and drink container failures.

Food Safety Burns & Scalds

The experts at Robson Forensic are regularly retained to investigate food and drink related scalding incidents from a number of perspectives across various industries. In addition to general food safety experts, we also offer in-house expertise in drink and food containers. Our relevant expertise extends to include individuals who specialize in the service of food and supervision as it relates to airlines, nursing homes, healthcare facilities, educational settings, and more.

Food Service Claims

Food related burns typically occur in the course of serving hot food or as a result of placing hot food/drinks within the reach of children or individuals who are unable to regulate their actions and may inadvertently cause a spill. Food establishments and customers share in the responsibility to prevent burn/scald injuries.

Food Establishment Responsibilities:

  • Serve hot food items within appropriate temperature range
  • Safely serve food items without spilling hot food on customers
  • Place hot food items beyond the reach of vulnerable children or adults
  • Notify parents or guardians of hot food

Customer Responsibilities:

  • After being notified of hot food, parents are generally responsible for the safety of their children
  • Handle items known to be hot with reasonable care

Drink & Food Container Claims

Our experts have investigated many claims of failed or inappropriate food containers involving cups, bowls, and lids. In these matters we may call upon food service experts to address policies and procedures related to the preparation and service of food.

The product safety experts at Robson Forensic have firsthand experience investigating claims of failed or inadequate containers. In previous instances, our experts have been tasked with analyzing incident food containers to determine if lid separation was a result of deficient lid placement, lid and container incompatibility, or misuse by the customer.

Time & Temperatures for Scalds & Burns

Scalding burns are a function of temperature and the length of exposure. For your reference we have provided the following data from the US Consumer Product Safety Commission.

Food Safety Investigations

Food safety investigations can be complex. Not only do the food safety regulations vary across states and municipalities, but there is also the potential for industry specific standards that need to be considered in institutional, healthcare, and other settings.

Robson Forensic offers a comprehensive technical solution for many food safety disputes. We invite you to submit an inquiry or contact us to discuss your case.


Featured Expert

Barry E. Parsons, FMP, CPFM, CP-FS, CCFS

​Food Safety Expert

Barry has years of experience as a chef and manager of food service operations. He is an expert in preventing injuries to food workers and preventing food contamination during preparation, transport and storage. Barry is a Certified ServSafe Instructor for the National Restaurant Association and a National Registry Food Safety Professional Trainer under the Food Marketing Institute.