Omnivore - Getting poisoned, getting over-charged, sampling too much, hunting figs

Recent mail from readers

Image Kay's party of four was poisoned at a well-known restaurant. She wonders what to do:

I've heard that you suffer from "foodborne illness" a couple of times a year due to frequent dining out. I'm curious how you handle notifications. I went out to dinner with three other folks on Saturday night and all four of us were ill for several days. Can't prove it was from the restaurant, and none of us saw a doctor, so no official reports. Just wondering if I should let the owner know or just let it go. I won't name the restaurant, but it is one that is owned by a well known restaurateur with a couple of other restaurants in town. What's your thought? BTW - I lost 6 pounds, so maybe I shouldn't complain?

You should definitely complain, despite the beautifying results of dehydration. But in my experience, owners and chefs at best say they'll look into the complaint and you never hear back. Or they instantly deny it, probably because they don't want to make themselves vulnerable to legal action.

You'd think they'd want to know if they made four people sick all at once, but they're pretty predictably not going to risk bad press, much less legal action, by apologizing and taking responsibility. Hopefully, they do privately look into the problem.