By Lewis Hendrix. Last Updated 1st August 2023. Welcome to our guide on suing a restaurant in the UK for allergic reaction compensation. In it, we explain how to sue a restaurant for food poisoning or allergies. We also deal with questions such as ‘can you sue a restaurant for food poisoning for someone else?’
There is nothing better than going out for a nice meal, whether with your family, friends, partner or even on your own. According to Statista, there were around 138,246 foodservice businesses operating in the UK in 2018. During this guide, we’ll explain why restaurant allergy compensation claims might be required.
From British cuisine to Indian and Chinese establishments, there is something for everyone to enjoy. However, when you wake up the next day with nausea and vomiting, it doesn’t seem worth the expense, does it? Luckily, this doesn’t happen often. Nevertheless, if you have visited a restaurant or food business and you have suffered symptoms because of an allergic reaction, there is a very high chance you are going to be entitled to compensation.
How To Sue A Restaurant For Food Poisoning And Allergies
Here at Accident Claims UK, we can help you to get the compensation you deserve. We have years of experience in the industry, and we have helped many people to launch compensation claims. You can reach us on 0800 073 8801. However, give this guide a read first! Read on to discover everything you need to know about allergic reaction compensation claims against a restaurant in the UK.
Select A Section
- A Guide About How To Sue A Restaurant For An Allergy In The UK
- What Is An Allergy And What Can Cause Them In A Restaurant?
- Allergies In The UK: Facts And Statistics
- How You Can Sue A Restaurant In The UK
- How Long Do You Have To Sue A Restaurant For An Allergy? Can I Sue A Restaurant For Food Poisoning And Allergies Within A Year Of The Event
- What Foods Does A Restaurants Have A Legal Obligation To Tell You About?
- The Consumer Protection Act And Your Rights – Can I Sue A Restaurant For Food Poisoning And Allergies
- How Do I Prove That The Restaurant Was At Fault? – Can I Sue A Restaurant For Food Poisoning And Allergies
- What Happens If I Did Not Inform A Restaurant About My Allergies?
- What Can I Claim If I Sue A Restaurant For An Allergy?
- Compensation Calculator For Suing A Restaurant For An Allergy
- Claiming For A Restaurant Allergy With A No Win No Fee Solicitor
- Where To Learn More About How To Sue A Restaurant For Food Poisoning And Allergies And Similar Claims
In this guide, we will reveal everything you need to know about claiming compensation for an allergic reaction. In the UK, there are stringent rules in place regarding food labelling. On menus, restaurants need to ensure they disclose any allergens that could be present in their dishes. If they have made an error in this regard and you have ended up consuming something you are allergic to, you will be able to claim compensation.
However, we know that you probably have lots of questions running through your mind about how to do so and what is entailed. That is what this guide is here to help you with. We will talk you through how to make this sort of personal injury claim, as well as explaining the laws that are in place in the UK at the moment. We will also give you an idea regarding the food allergy lawsuit settlement you could receive, and we will explain more about the service that we provide. If you still have any questions or concerns by the time you get to the end of the guide, please do not hesitate to get in touch. We would be more than happy to help.
So to learn more about restaurant allergy compensation claims against a restaurant, please scroll down.
What causes an allergic reaction? A food allergy occurs when your immune system reacts in an unexpected manner to a specific type of food. In most cases, the reactions are mild. However, there have been cases whereby food allergies have resulted in very serious injuries. Some of the most common symptoms of food allergies are as follows:
Food allergy symptoms…
- Swelling around the lips, eyes, tongue, and roof of the mouth
- A raised itchy red rash
- An itchy sensation inside the ears, throat or mouth
The term used to describe the most serious type of food poisoning is ‘anaphylaxis’, and this can be life-threatening. Some of the most common symptoms for this serious level of food poisoning include light-headedness, breathing difficulties, and feeling like you are going to faint or lose consciousness. It is vital to call 999 if you or someone you know is experiencing these symptoms. Remember, any type of harm that’s caused by negligence could lead to restaurant allergy compensation claims.
According to Allergy UK, allergy remains the most chronic European disease. Almost 20 per cent of allergy sufferers that have allergies struggle every day because they face anaphylactic shock, the possibility of an asthma attack, and sometimes death from allergic reactions. The organisation has also stated that the United Kingdom has some of the largest prevalence rates of allergies across the globe, with more than 20% of the population impacted by an allergic disorder or several. Not only this but in the 20 year period prior to 2012, there was a 615% increase in the number of people being admitted to hospital in the United Kingdom for anaphylaxis.
You can see some statistics relating to the cost of allergies, both physical and financial in the graphic below. We have taken this from Allergy UK’s 2020-21 statistics. You can find further insight into the latest statistics on their website if you like.
You may be able to make a claim against the restaurant or company you have been at if you have experienced an allergic reaction to the food you have bought and consumed. In the UK, the Food Information Regulations came into place in December 2014.
These regulations were brought about in order to make it more straightforward for sufferers of allergies to find out about the presence of any allergens in the food they consume when they are eating out. It can be challenging to determine what ingredients are used within dishes, which is why these laws were brought about. This means that all takeaways and restaurants, as well as any companies selling food in any capacity, including pre-packaged foods, have to warn consumers about the key 14 food allergens if they are present or could be present in the food they are selling. This makes sure that anyone who has an allergy to a specific ingredient can identify this with ease so that they do not end up consuming it.
If the food comes in a package, the allergens must be listed on this packaging. However, when it comes to food that is served in takeaways and restaurants, there is a bit of flexibility regarding how the allergen warning is displayed. For example, restaurant owners could choose to explain the allergens verbally to all consumers or to have it displayed on the menu.
To discover more about restaurant allergy compensation claims against a restaurant, read on.
How Long Do You Have To Sue A Restaurant For An Allergy? – Can I Sue A Restaurant For Food Poisoning And Allergies Within A Year Of The Event?
One thing that a lot of people do not realise is that there is a personal injury claims time limit in place, which is applicable to all cases. This limit tends to be three years, yet there are some exceptions, so it is important to be aware of this. If you want to make a food allergy compensation claim, the best thing to do is give us a call and start your claim as soon as possible so that you have nothing to worry about. If you suffered an allergic reaction as a child, you may be able to make a claim once you turn 18-years-old – if your parents never made a claim on your behalf. We discuss this in further detail in a further section of this guide.
As mentioned earlier, restaurants in the UK are required to inform consumers if any of the main 14 allergens are contained or could be contained in the foods they sell. For those who are unaware, the 14 food allergens are as follows…
- Sulphur dioxide, which can be sometimes used in dried fruit as a preservative
- Sesame seeds
- Nuts, including pistachio nuts, macadamia nuts, pecans, Brazil nuts, cashews, hazelnuts, walnuts, and almonds
- Molluscs, including squid, snails, oysters, whelks, mussels, and clams
- Mustard seed
- Crustaceans, including crayfish, crabs, lobster, prawns
- Cereals containing gluten
But how do restaurants need to tell you about these foods? Well, there are no specifications. Of course, they need to make it clear, though. However, as the food is not pre-packaged, it obviously cannot be displayed via any sort of label, which is the requirement for pre-packaged goods. The logical move would be for restaurants to have this food information for consumers printed on their menu. Nevertheless, if the restaurant owner has informed restaurant staff to tell consumers about allergens, this is allowed. The law simply states that restaurants need to make consumers aware, and so there is flexibility regarding the manner in which they do so.
How do restaurants prevent allergic reactions to food? Can I sue a restaurant for food poisoning and allergies if they fail?
We’ve already looked at the obligations that restaurants have to notify you of allergens in their food. This can be as simple as having staff inform customers of potential allergens, although a lot of restaurants are now choosing to display their allergens on their menus. Some restaurant chains are even using computer tablet menus, which allow the customer to filter through the menu according to their allergies.
Natasha’s Law came into effect in October 2021 and will require all food prepared and packed in the same place that it will be sold to have a full list of ingredients. For example, a restaurant and deli which prepares sandwiches and salads in the kitchen and then places them on a shelf to be sold will have to include a full list of ingredients on the package. Prior to Natasha’s law, this wasn’t a legal obligation.
It’s good practice for restaurants to ensure that all staff are trained in dealing with allergens, from kitchen staff to front of house. If possible, there should be a place in the kitchen where allergen-free meals can be prepared to reduce the risk of cross-contamination. Any menu changes, particularly ones related to previously allergen-friendly dishes, should be communicated with service staff so that they can inform you about any potential allergens when taking your order if asked. It’s also good practice for the restaurant to have a full and up-to-date list of dishes containing allergens on hand that can be referred to if needed.
The Consumer Protection Act And Your Rights – Can I Sue A Restaurant For Food Poisoning And Allergies?
It is important to be aware of the relevant sections on civil law for food allergies. This is known as the Consumer Protection Act 1987. Under this act, it means that manufacturers can be held liable if someone has suffered an illness or injury because of a defective product, whether they have been negligent or not. As per the civil law, manufacturers owe all consumers a duty of care to ensure the products they supply are safe, and this applies to food and drinks too. This is why manufacturers around the world have stringent testing procedures in place. Of course, the liability of the manufacturer does depend on the products provided and a number of other factors. This is nothing for you to worry about, though, as we can advise you on all of the legal matters.
When it comes to making a personal injury claim of any nature, you need to make sure you prove negligence. In this instance, you are going to be showing that the restaurant in question did not follow the regulations in place and they did not inform you of any of the allergens present in the food you ordered. To do this, you are going to need evidence. There are a number of critical pieces of evidence in this regard. Firstly, you should take a photograph of the menu handed out in the restaurant to show that no allergen information was present on the menu.
However, as mentioned earlier, there is freedom with regard to the way that restaurants display allergen information, and so they do have the option of giving these details verbally to consumers. Therefore, it can also help to have the contact information of any witnesses. If you dined at the restaurant with another person, their testimony, stating that you were not given the allergen information, can help to build a strong case. Aside from this, another piece of evidence that will be required is your medical report, which is why it is important to see a doctor even if you have only had a mild allergic reaction. The doctor’s report will state the injuries you have experienced, the extent of them, and your recommended course of treatment, and this will be used to determine what sort of payout you are going to get.
Should I claim for an allergic reaction in a restaurant? Can I sue a restaurant for food poisoning and allergies that have affected me?
Some people who suffer allergic reactions in restaurants don’t think a claim is a) possible or b) necessary. As we have shown already, while some allergic reactions can be little more than annoying, others can be very serious indeed. In fact, they can be fatal or result in life-threatening conditions.
If you have suffered an allergic reaction caused by the negligence of a restaurant, we believe you should consider making a claim. Food allergy compensation isn’t just a way of punishing the restaurant, it can achieve two things. Firstly, any compensation you are paid will cover any pain that was caused by the reaction. Secondly, it could mean that the restaurant makes changes so that you somebody else doesn’t suffer in the same way in the future.
Restaurant allergy compensation claims also aim to cover any costs during your recovery too. This could involve covering any income you’ve lost, any medical costs or any care that’s required for longer-term injuries. Therefore, we believe it is only right that you do start a claim.
Importantly, restaurants must have public liability insurance in place to cover such claims. Therefore, you won’t be putting the company at risk by suing them. Any claim will be made against the insurance policy so the business will not be directly affected. Please get in touch today if you’d like us to review your allergic reaction claim for you.
A lot of people assume that they will not be able to make a claim because they did not tell the restaurant that they have an allergy. While it is always a good idea to make the restaurant in question aware of your allergies, just to be extra sure, you can still make a claim even if you have not done this. After all, it is against the law for any restaurant to fail to inform customers about potential allergen presence. This is the case irrespective of whether you have mentioned your allergies or not. However, you will, of course, have an even stronger case if you have told a member of staff at the restaurant about your allergies and you were still not given accurate information about the allergens present in the food sold. By law, information must be supplied about 14 major allergens.
When it comes to allergic reaction compensation claims against a restaurant, you are going to be able to sue a restaurant for a number of different damages. First and foremost, you will, of course, be able to secure damages for the injuries you have experienced. As mentioned earlier, this will be based on the medical report that has been put together by your doctor. Some of the different factors that are considered include the likes of the extent of your injury, the impact it has had on your life, the future prognosis, your treatment, and whether the injury has stemmed into other areas of your life, for example, your social life and your work life. Some people need to have counselling when they have been injured or suffered an illness because the experience has been traumatic for them. If this has applied to you, you will be able to claim for psychological injuries too. After all, as mentioned above, 20 per cent of people worry that their allergy can result in consequences for them.
Aside from claiming for the injury itself, you are also going to be able to make a claim for the impact that it is had on your life in terms of the costs you have faced. After all, there is no denying that injuries can be expensive! If you have missed work, there is no guarantee you will be covered by 100 per cent sick pay. While some people are lucky enough to have this in their employment contract, it is not the case for everyone. Luckily, you can claim for loss of income. You will also be able to claim for the likes of travel expenses, counselling costs, and treatment expenses. You can also claim for childcare if you have had to pay for someone to look after your children while you recover. Would you like more information on restaurant allergy compensation claims? If so, why not call today?
Can You Sue A Restaurant For Food Poisoning That Affected One Of Your Children?
If you are attempting to find out how to sue a restaurant for food poisoning or allergies on behalf of a child, we can help you. It could be possible for adults to claim on behalf of children that have been injured due to a restaurant’s negligence. This could include cases of food poisoning and allergies. As the law does not allow children to make their own claims while they are under the age of 18, you may decide to launch a claim as your child’s litigation friend. This would mean you to make the decisions necessary to claim compensation for them. However, their compensation would be held in a trust. They would be able to access it once they became of age.
If you chose not to make a claim on behalf of your child, your child may be able to claim once they turn 18 years old. However, you might find that it is more difficult to gather relevant evidence once time has passed. If you’d like to speak to us about whether to wait until your child turns 18 or whether to make a claim on their behalf, we’d be glad to speak to you.
One thing you will probably want to know is how much money you will get if you do decide to go ahead with your personal injury claim. After all, you will want to make sure that it is going to be worth your while. If you have searched online already, you may have seen a personal injury claims calculator, as there are a lot of these available. However, please note that these are more marketing tools, rather than being accurate calculators, and so you should not assume that this is definitely the amount you are going to get.
In fact, giving you an accurate payout figure is not possible until it is literally awarded. This is because all cases are handled on an individual basis, as they should be, ensuring you are awarded a fair amount. That is why we have put together a table below, with the average payout amounts for you. If you cannot find the injury or illness you have experienced in the table below, there is no need to panic – you can get compensation! You simply need to give us a call, and we will be able to explain the sort of payout you could be looking at.
|Allergic reaction to food
|Severe toxicosis resulting in fever, diarrhoea, vomiting, and serious acute pain.
|£36,060 to £49,270
|Allergic reaction to food
|Serious but short-lived food poisoning.
|£8,950 to £18,020
|Allergic reaction to food
|Significant fatigue, alteration of bowel function, stomach cramps, and discomfort. Symptoms lasting for a few weeks.
|£3,710 to £8,950
|Allergic reaction to food
|Varying degrees of disabling pain, cramps and diarrhoea.
|£860 to £3,710
For more information on restaurant allergy compensation claims, get in touch with our team.
After suffering harm from a food allergy in a restaurant, you may wish to have legal support when making a claim. One of our expert solicitors may be able to help you, provided you have a valid case. Furthermore, they could offer to represent you under a Conditional Fee Agreement. This is a type of No Win No Fee arrangement, and some of the benefits of working with a solicitor under one include:
- Zero upfront service fees to pay to your solicitor.
- Not having to pay them for their services during the process of your claim.
- In the event that your claim is unsuccessful, you will not need to pay your solicitor for the work they have provided on your case.
Should your restaurant allergy claim succeed, you will pay a legally capped success fee to your solicitor. This is taken directly from your compensation settlement.
To discuss your claim and find out if you could be eligible to work with one of our solicitors, you can contact our advisory team. They can offer you free advice and answer any questions you have that this guide may not have covered. To connect with an advisor today, you can:
Where To Learn More About How To Sue A Restaurant For Food Poisoning And Allergies And Similar Claims
Thank you for reading our guide on restaurant allergy compensation claims. Now you’ll know more about suing a restaurant in the UK for allergic reaction compensation. Hopefully, we’ve not explained how to sue a restaurant for food poisoning or allergies and dealt with questions such as ‘can you sue a restaurant for food poisoning for someone else?’