Yelp Reviews Help Find Food Poisoning Outbreaks

Eating Out

Will Yelp Help Restaurant-Goers Stay Healthy?

When people have bad restaurant experiences, they often don't have trouble telling their friends about it. Now, letting friends know if your lunch made you sick can help researchers identify outbreaks of food poisoning.

Research suggests that Yelp, a restaurant review website, can show health departments where recalled food and unhygienic conditions are affecting customers. A study of 300,000 Yelp reviews gave their investigators enough evidence to spot three previously unknown outbreaks of foodborne illness. Of the 468 reviews stating the customer got sick after eating at a restaurant, only 3% were reported to the Department of Health.

Yelp acknowledges that since anyone can write a review, some accounts may be exaggerated and less-than-useful when trying to find actual outbreaks of food poisoning. However, they remain positive that their site may be valuable in keeping restaurant standards high and public health in good condition. They hope to continue working with the Department of Health to locate where outbreaks start.

Did You Get Sick After Eating at a Restaurant?

Not every outbreak can be caught before someone gets sick. If you suffered food poisoning from a restaurant, you may have a case.

Contact us today at 412-394-1000 or use the form in the top right corner of this page for a free legal consultation. We'll tell you if we think you have a case without any obligation to use our services. And remember, there's never a fee unless we get money for you.

"How Yelp Can Help Track Food Poisoning." ABC News. May 22, 2014.