By Danielle Griffin. Last Updated 29th September 2022. Welcome to our guide on allergic reaction compensation claims including gluten allergic reaction claims, where we’ll address the question, “can I claim compensation for a food allergy reaction with food allergy claims solicitors?”
Do you have a food allergy, such as nut allergy, egg allergy, or dairy food allergy? If so, you will understand the need for businesses involved in the production, distribution, and sale of food to take every possible measure to avoid cross-contamination of allergens, and notify people of potential food hazards, such as warnings that a product may contain nuts, dairy or gluten.
What happens if you have an allergic reaction at a restaurant?
If, however, you have suffered an allergic reaction that was caused by a food product, either because it had not been correctly labelled, or if a restaurant, cafe, or shop had not provided a warning that a product may contain an allergen, then you may be able to make a food allergy compensation claim for the harm suffered. You could claim whether you’ve experience minor symptoms or dangerous symptoms of anaphylactic shock.
Whilst the UK does have stringent legislation in place to try and protect those with food allergies, this country does still have one of the highest rates of incidents of allergic reaction globally. This has included a trend for there to be more incidences of this, and in some cases the reaction is fatal. This was seen in 2018, where there were high profile cases of people dying due to eating food with allergens, served in takeaway coffee shops. It has been put forward that the country is in the midst of an epidemic of allergies.
We have handled a variety of food allergy compensation claims, such as nut allergy claims. In this guide, you can find out more about food allergies, their causes and symptoms, what steps a business should take to protect its customers, and finally, how we can help you to claim compensation.
If you’d like to claim compensation for a food allergy reaction, you can do so by contacting our team at 0800 073 8801 or continue reading for more information.
Select A Section
- A Guide To Making A Food Allergy Compensation Claim
- What Is The Difference Between A Food Intolerance And A Food Allergy?
- What Causes Food Allergies To Develop?
- Who Is At Risk Of Having Or Developing A Food Allergy?
- 14 Foods Which Can Cause Allergic Reactions
- Guidelines On Handling Allergens For Businesses
- Managing Allergens And Notifying Customers Of Risks
- What Are The Different Types Of Food Allergy?
- What Are The Most Common Signs And Symptoms Of Food Allergies?
- What Is Anaphylaxis And What Are The Symptoms?
- Who Is Responsible If I Did Not Tell The Restaurant About My Allergy?
- How Is Negligence Or Liability Established?
- Deaths Caused By Food Allergies
- What Can My Allergy Compensation Claim Include Damages For?
- Calculating My Food Allergy Compensation Claim Settlement
- No Win No Fee Claims For An Allergic Reaction With Food Allergy Claims Solicitors
- How Our Team Of Experts Can Help You Find Food Allergy Claims Solicitors
- Talk To Our Team Today About Food Allergy Claims Solicitors
- Useful Contact Information And Helpful Guides For Food Allergy Claims Solicitors
In this guide, we look at everything you need to know to successfully make an allergy compensation claim.
In most cases, whether they are instances of food or another type of allergy, the reaction will be minor or mild, and will not need serious medical care. However, for some, they can lead to a very severe reaction, or even to deaths in the most serious instances.
As mentioned, the UK has one of the highest rates of allergies globally. Some allergy statistics include;
- As many as 20% of people in the UK have some form of allergy.
- 44% of the adult population has one or more allergies.
- 48% of people with an allergy suffer from more than one.
- Between 1992 and 2012 the rate of people being admitted to hospital for anaphylactic reactions rose by 615%.
You can find out more about the statistics surrounding allergies at the Allergy UK website. If you suffer from milk, wheat or dairy allergy, or indeed from any other food allergy and have been harmed due to contaminated foods, then we may be able to help with allergic reaction compensation claims.
“What is the difference between an intolerance and an allergy?” “What happens to your body when you have a food allergy?” “Can food allergies be cured?” and “Can I claim compensation for a food allergic reaction?” are just some of the commonly asked questions which we will address in this article.
The symptoms of intolerance and an allergy, and your reaction to certain foods could present in similar ways to each other. As such, people often confuse food intolerances and allergies. An allergic reaction means that the immune system is reacting to the food in question. This can affect several of the organs and could even cause a life-threatening reaction in you. An intolerance will generally result in a far more mild reaction.
Those with food intolerance may still be able to eat smaller amounts of food without having a reaction. You can find out more about food intolerances in this NHS guide.
At a basic level, a food allergy and the reaction to the food is caused by a problem in the immune system. This means that it sees an otherwise harmless protein as a potential threat and reacts accordingly. It then releases certain chemicals which cause your symptoms.
Food allergies take several forms in the body; the most common of these are caused when a type of antibody called IgE or immunoglobulin E mistakes harmless proteins as a threat to the body. This then releases histamine, hence taking antihistamine medication to control certain allergic reactions.
What happens to your body when you have a food allergy?:
- Expansion of the smaller blood vessels, causing your skin to swell up and redden.
- Your skin may become itchy.
- Your nose produces more mucus as well as causing burning and itchiness.
There are competing theories as to why the proportion of the population affected by food allergies has risen in recent decades. Some argue that peoples, and children in particular’s, diets have changed, causing the rise in allergic reactions. Others argue that as children and adults spend more time in germ-free environments, our immune systems are not developing as fully in childhood.
Whilst many people wonder ‘can food allergies be cured’, at this time they can only be treated and managed.
As the causes of food allergies have not been clearly identified, we can not fully say who could will or will not get an allergic reaction. However, there are some factors that might increase a person’s risk of developing allergies. These risk factors might include;
- Having a family history of allergies: can increase your risk of having a food allergy. Family history might include close family members suffering from eczema, asthma, or similar food allergies. This does not mean you will develop the same allergy.
- Having another allergy: a child who developed eczema at an early age has a higher chance of later having food allergies.
Today the law states that the 14 main types of food allergen which can be present in a food must be clearly labelled to warn customers that a portion of food does contain or may contain these foods. These rules pertain to places that are serving pre-packaged foods. Restaurants and similar eateries must ensure that allergens are either explained by the staff or clearly marked on a menu.
What foods trigger allergies, and what food allergies might you be able to make a personal injury claim for?
- Nut allergy, this can include a variety of different nuts and legumes.
- Cereal allergy, including wheat allergy and gluten allergy,
- Soy allergy
- Peanut allergy
- Seafood and shellfish allergy,
- Molluscs allergy
- Fish allergy,
- Sesame allergy
- Celery allergy,
- Egg allergy,
- Milk and dairy allergy,
- Mustard allergy,
- Lupin allergy,
- Sulphur dioxide allergy, often used in preserving fruits
You can find more information on each of these types of food allergy in this PDF guide produced by the UK’s Food Standards Agency.
Gluten allergic reaction claims
Let’s now look at one of the 14 allergens in more detail. Gluten is a protein found in wheat, barley and rye. It is a substance that helps food keep its shape. Coeliac disease is related to gluten too. The small intestine of the sufferer will become damaged as it is attacked by the body’s immune system after eating gluten.
As with other allergens, gluten allergic reaction claims might be possible if you are made ill because the menu or food packaging did not clearly indicate that gluten was included in the meal or product you purchased. We’ll cover the symptoms of allergic reactions later on but abdominal pain and symptoms similar to Irritable Bowel Syndrome are seen in some cases.
Another reason you may be able to make a claim is if you eat gluten-free foods that have been cross-contaminated with flours or other substances containing gluten and go on to suffer an allergic reaction as a result.
Food allergy solicitors could help with gluten allergy claims
If you believe that you have suffered an allergic reaction to gluten because of a food business’s negligence, you could be entitled to compensation. Proving what caused your reaction to occur can be tricky, though. As we’ll explain throughout this article, claims can be made easier if you let a personal injury solicitor represent you. If you’d like to see if one of our specialists could represent you, please get in touch. Any advice we provide on gluten allergic reaction claims is free whether you claim or not.
Food producers and any business selling foods have to follow the EU Food Information for Consumers Regulation (EU FIC). You can find details of the regulation here. The basic rules are that food businesses must make sure that they provide customers with any necessary information on allergens contained in a product. This includes pre and non packaged drinks and foods. They also say that foods and the allergens identified above must be correctly handled to prevent cross-contamination.
Businesses must also provide the correct training to their staff about how to handle allergens, and how to warn customers if necessary that foods may contain or have been produced in the same areas as those ingredients listed above. Businesses must also consider if any ingredients they are using contain or were produced in places using these ingredients.
If you are a business and require further information on guidelines for handling allergens, you can find them in this guide from the Food Standards Agency.
At both the UK and the EU level there are regulations and guidelines on how businesses should or must handle ingredients that could cause someone to have an allergic reaction, such as someone with a wheat allergy accidentally being served foods with wheat in.
Restaurants and anywhere serving foods must ensure that customers are aware of any potential ingredients to which they may be allergic. Staff must make sure whether the customer is either intolerant or allergic to an ingredient. If the product is sold pre-packaged, the restaurant, takeaway, or cafe must ensure that the customer is aware of any allergens marked on the label.
You can find more information about labelling products and notifying customers on potential allergens in the Food Standards Agency guide referred to in the previous section, or this guide from the EU Safe Food website.
When claiming compensation for a food allergy reaction, there are three main types of food allergy which you could have experienced and be claiming compensation for the effects of. Depending on the symptoms which present, and how quickly they happen after eating the food in question, your allergy might be one of these three types.
- IgE-mediated allergies: These are the most common form of food allergy. These can be triggered by the body producing the IgE antibody. Typically, symptoms will present between a few seconds and a few minutes. They can even cause anaphylactic reactions.
- Non-IgE-mediated allergies: Those reactions not caused by IgE. They can be harder to provide a diagnosis of and could take several hours for the symptoms to fully present.
- Mixed food allergies: In these cases, the person might experience the symptoms of both IgE and non-IgE allergies.
Next, we will look at some of the more common signs and symptoms of food allergies and allergic reactions.
Whilst there are three main types of food allergy, there are more than three symptoms of a food allergy. The symptoms of a soy allergy or a shellfish allergy can vary in severity. In the next section, we will look at the more severe, but, these are those which can be less serious and more common.
Food Allergy Symptoms
If you have suffered food allergy symptoms, you might be eligible for allergic reaction settlement. To make a successful food allergy claim, you must be able to prove that your symptoms were caused by third party negligence. According to the NHS, food allergy symptoms typically develop within a few seconds to minutes of eating the allergen. Symptoms can range from mild to severe.
- A tingling sensation or itchiness in the mouth
- Swelling, including in the face, mouth and throat
- Wheezing or breathlessness
- Dizziness and light-headedness
- Nausea and/or vomiting
- Pain in the abdomen and/or diarrhoea
- Symptoms like hay fever, including sneezing and eye itchiness
Additionally, food allergy symptoms could include anaphylaxis. This is discussed in more detail in the next section.
If you’ve experienced symptoms like the ones above as a result of third-party negligence, such as poor labelling, you could be entitled to compensation. Talk to our advisors about your symptoms for an estimation of your allergic reaction compensation amount.
Anaphylaxis is a serious and potentially quickly fatal form of reaction to an allergen, such as those experienced by people with a nut allergy. Such reactions can be swift and could get worse in a short period of time.
When anaphylaxis presents, the early symptoms can be the same as those above. However, they can quickly get worse, leading to the following;
- Serious difficult in breathing.
- Tachycardia, commonly known as a very rapid heartbeat.
- A fall in blood pressure leading to confusion and lightheadedness.
- Following the previous symptoms, you may also experience Intense feelings of fear and anxiety.
- These symptoms will lead to unconsciousness and even death.
This condition is a serious emergency and needs rapid treatment. If you or someone else may be having this type of reaction you need to call for an ambulance immediately.
To find out what might affect the amount of compensation you get for a food allergy reaction, read on.
The law is clear in that those selling and serving the food must warn customers if any of the foods which may trigger a food allergy listed above are contained in their food, or prepared in the same area. This applies whether or not the customer has informed them that they have a particular food allergy, such as a cereal allergy. Whether or not a customer informs the restaurant or staff about an allergy does not affect their ability to make a personal injury claim.
If the diner is allergic to an ingredient that the restaurant does not have to provide a warning about, then it is the responsibility of the customer to make this allergy known before ordering and eating any food.
If you did not inform the restaurant about an allergy, you might be able to make a claim through a personal injury lawyer. However, the courts may need to establish liability and could split liability in such cases. You need to claim within the relevant time limit too.
A common question we’re asked is “can I claim compensation for a food allergic reaction or food poisoning?”. If you have been made ill because of an allergic reaction in the past three years, and if someone else caused it, you might be able to make a claim. In order for your solicitor or lawyer to make your claim, you need to demonstrate the following;
- That the food did contain a known allergic ingredient, such as those which can cause a gluten allergy.
- That the claimant was not provided with warnings that the food either did or could contain this allergen.
- That you did suffer an allergic reaction
- Medical evidence, you will need to visit a doctor or medical practitioner for medical attention as soon as possible. This is so that the doctor can diagnose your condition. This will provide the first piece of evidence of your claim, medical evidence.
In some cases, it can be several hours after eating food till the symptoms present. In such cases, the solicitor will then need to show that the food in question, served by or bought from the defendant, was the cause of the allergic reaction.
If the allergen led to the person suffering a fatal allergic reaction, the compensation claim might be much higher. However, each and every case is different and each and every claim is also unique. This means that we can not say how much your particular fatal accident claim could be worth, without assessing your unique claim.
No matter the type of allergy claim, whether a celery allergy claim, sulphur dioxide allergy claim, or a mustard allergy claim, you are making, there are certain things that you may be able to claim alongside your illness itself.
More Food Allergy Compensation Amounts For 2022
The figures above relate to the portion of your allergic reaction claim that addresses the level of pain and suffering caused by the incident. As you can see, the severity of your illness can influence how much this payment is worth. This is known as general damages.
However, you may also be eligible for special damages. This amount is for the impact your illness has had on your finances. If you are eligible to receive a special damages payment, it will be combined with your general damages payment before it reaches you.
Here are some examples of special damages:
- Medical costs – To aid in your recovery, you may require certain private healthcare procedures or prescription medication.
- Loss of earnings – Your illness may affect your income if you are unable to work due to your symptoms.
- Other expenses – For example, you may have paid for a holiday that your illness prevents you from going on.
For all special damages, you will need to gather and present evidence of these losses and expenditures. A good way of proving financial loss is by acquiring receipts or payslips.
Get in touch with our advisors today for a free evaluation of your food allergy compensation claim, or to be connected with one of our expert solicitors.
If you’re curious as to the potential value of allergic reaction compensation claims, this section will tell you everything you need to know.
How much compensation your claim could be awarded will depend on a combination of factors. As an alternative to a personal injury claims calculator, we’ve provided estimates of how much people can claim for different consequences of this type of injury. These figures have been taken from the Judicial College Guidelines.
|Form of injury
|Severity of injury
|Embarrassment and distress from faecal urgency and passive incontinence.
|In the region
|Illness – food poisoning
|The most severe cases of food poisoning can last for more than ten days with longer term symptoms lasting as much as a year.
|£38,430 to £52,500
|Illness – food poisoning
|Serious cases of food poisoning might last much longer, at one to two weeks, and require hospital treatment.
|£9,540 to £19,200
|Illness – food poisoning
|More moderte cases of food poisoning might last up to a week.
|£3,950 to £9,540
|Illness – food poisoning
|Short term food poisoning which would (usually) clear up within a few days.
|Up to £3,950
|One kidney is lost while the other remains undamaged.
|Lasting dermatitis with soreness and cracking and a possible mental health impact.
|£13,740 to £19,200
Remember, these figures are provided for illustrative purposes and how much your claim may be awarded will differ from these. To chat with someone about your case and see how much compensation for food allergy reaction you could be owed, contact our team today.
One of the best and easiest ways to make a claim for the effects of being exposed to an allergen when you had an allergy (such as a lupin allergy), is to do so through a claims management company offering a No Win No Fee service.
When you choose to make a claim with us we will explain how the agreement works, and make sure you know there are no hidden fees or charges. With no upfront payments, you can spend more time and effort getting better. We’ll work to get you the amount of compensation you deserve for a food allergy reaction.
So, with so many personal injury solicitors and claims management companies across the UK, why should you choose to work with our team of experts? At Accident Claims UK we work with a nationwide panel of solicitors, some of which have decades of experience in securing claimants like you the settlement you deserve. They have proven track records of getting people the right outcome to their claim and doing so through No Win No Fee agreements.
Claiming compensation for a food allergy reaction doesn’t need to be difficult. There are several quick and easy ways in which you can get in contact with us to start your claim.
- You can call us 24 hours a day, 7 days a week on 0800 073 8801
- You can send an email to our team at Office@AccidentClaims.co.uk
- Fill in our online contact form here www.accidentclaims.co.uk/contact-us
Or simply click ‘Online Claims Advisor’ on this page.
Whichever way you choose to get in touch with us, we are ready to start working on your claim.
Allergic reaction compensation claims FAQs
How much of a food allergen does it take to trigger an allergic reaction?
There’s no standard dose of an allergen that can trigger an allergic reaction in someone with allergies. It’s something that can vary from person to person, which is why extreme caution should be taken whenever possible.
Some people with allergies to certain foods need to ingest the allergen in order for an allergic reaction to be triggered. But for some people, cross-contamination with an allergen is enough to trigger anaphylaxis, which can be dangerous. This is why it’s really important that all possible steps are taken to prevent cross-contamination when preparing food for someone with allergies.
How long do food allergy symptoms last?
When you have an allergic reaction to food, the symptoms will usually start within a few minutes of you consuming the allergen. But just because your symptoms go away after an allergic reaction doesn’t mean you’re no longer in danger.
Sometimes, the symptoms of an allergic reaction can ease only to return hours later. This is known as a “biphasic reaction”. Because of this, people who suffer from severe allergic reactions should be under medical supervision for four to six hours after suffering their initial reaction.
If you need more help or information on allergic reaction compensation claims, you can find this through the useful contact details and additional helpful guides below, or get in touch with our team using the methods listed above.
Food Standards Agency
The Food Standards Agency helps to ensure that the food we buy and eat meets the UK high food safety standards.
Food Standards Agency Resource
This online resource for employers and staff helps to ensure that your team is fully up to speed with the required food standards in the UK.
Medical negligence compensation claims
If you’ve been the victim of medical negligence and want to claim compensation, read our guide.
A guide to claiming compensation after an allergic reaction to peanuts.
Our guide to claiming for the wrongful death of a loved one.
Food Allergy Solicitors FAQs
Do I need to use local food allergy claims solicitors?
It is not necessary for you to go out and use the solicitor that is based closest to where you live. Because much of the claims process can be handled via email, video call or phone call, it is unlikely that you’d need to see your food allergy claims solicitors face to face, unless you wanted to. Or, if your case went to court. In such cases a solicitor could travel to meet you or you could travel to meet them. Obviously with all the choice of law firms and solicitors out there across the UK, you might find making a decision difficult. We would advise you to strongly consider using a no win no fee solicitor for your claim. We would also advise you to check into whether they have any good independent reviews on review websites, as well as checking how many years of experience they’ve had and whether they are authorised and regulated by the Solicitors Regulation Authority.
I suffered a food allergy in a hospital could food allergy claims solicitors help me?
According to NHS Resolution, in 2020/2021 there was a significant amount of compensation paid out due to clinical negligence. You can see the sum, which includes legal costs, in the graphic below.
You could make a claim if you have notified a hospital of your food allergies and they have served you food that contains something you react to. If the allergen information they give you is incorrect, you could unknowingly consume an allergen. Or, if you’ve asked for an allergen free meal and they have ignored your request and not told you your meal contains allergens, you could claim for the ensuing allergic reaction. We could help you start such a claim.
What happens if you have an allergic reaction at a restaurant?
What happens if you have an allergic reaction at a restaurant could depend on the cause and severity of the reaction. Whether it was the restaurant’s fault or your own, you would be wise to seek medical attention. Then, if you believe the restaurant was at fault, you could collect evidence. For example, it could be a good idea to take photographs of the menu and take details of witnesses.
It could also be a good idea to seek legal advice. We could assist with this and assess your case to see if you could claim compensation.
Is an allergic reaction an accident?
An allergic reaction could be an accident with no one at fault. For example, you could have consumed something you didn’t know you were allergic to. However, if a restaurant breaches its duty of care towards you by providing incorrect allergen advice when you have a known allergy, this could be considered negligence.
In such cases, you could be eligible to claim compensation for the harm caused to you. We would be happy to check your eligibility for you.
What is a severe allergic reaction to food known as?
A severe allergic reaction to food is known as anaphylaxis or anaphylactic shock. It is a serious medical condition and sometimes requires urgent hospital treatment. In some cases, where a person is known to have serious allergies, they could be given an epi-pen to carry should they suffer a reaction and need immediate treatment.
Thank you for reading our guide to allergic reaction compensation claims and gluten allergic reaction claims. We hope that we’ve been able to answer the question “can I claim compensation for a food allergic reaction?”