How To Sue A Restaurant For An Allergy In The UK – Allergic Reaction Compensation Claims Guide

By Fern Easton. Last Updated 4th February 2021. Welcome to our guide on suing a restaurant in the UK for allergic reaction compensation. 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.

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 and you have suffered symptoms because of an allergic reaction, there is a very high chance you are going to be entitled to compensation.

allergic reaction compensation claims against a restaurant.

Allergic reaction compensation claims against a restaurant

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.

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A Guide About How To Sue A Restaurant For An Allergy In The UK

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 allergic reaction compensation claims against a restaurant, please scroll down.

What Is An Allergy And What Can Cause Them In A Restaurant?

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…

  • Vomiting
  • 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.

Allergies In The UK: Facts And Statistics

According to Allergy UK, allergy remains the most chronic European disease. Almost 20 per cent of patients 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.

How You Can Sue A Restaurant In The UK

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 allergic reaction compensation claims against a restaurant, read on.

How Long Do You Have To Sue A Restaurant For An Allergy?

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 an 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.

What Foods Does A Restaurant Have A Legal Obligation To Tell You About?

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
  • Soybeans
  • Peanuts
  • 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
  • Lupin
  • Milk
  • Fish
  • Eggs
  • Crustaceans, including crayfish, crabs, lobster, prawns
  • Cereals containing gluten
  • Celery

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 information printed on their menu. Nevertheless, if the restaurant owner has informed 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?

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 will come 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

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.

How Do I Prove That The Restaurant Was At Fault?

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.

What Happens If I Did Not Inform A Restaurant About My Allergies?

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.

What Can I Claim If I Sue A Restaurant For An Allergy?

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.

Compensation Calculator For Suing A Restaurant For An Allergy

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 foodSevere toxicosis resulting in fever, diarrhoea, vomiting, and serious acute pain. £36,060 to £49,270
Allergic reaction to foodSerious but short-lived food poisoning.£8,950 to £18,020
Allergic reaction to foodSignificant fatigue, alteration of bowel function, stomach cramps, and discomfort. Symptoms lasting for a few weeks. £3,710 to £8,950
Allergic reaction to foodVarying degrees of disabling pain, cramps and diarrhoea.£860 to £3,710

For more information on allergic reaction compensation claims against a restaurant, get in touch with our team.

No Win No Fee Claims To Sue A Restaurant For An Allergy Or Allergic Reaction

When looking for the best personal injury solicitor to work on your case, there are a number of different factors that need to be considered. However, there is no denying that payment structure is one of the most critical. Don’t spend your money on a law firm that is going to charge you for every piece of communication. Instead, go for the No Win, No Fee approach. This means that you are only going to pay legal fees if your case is a success. If the lawyer working on your case does not manage to secure you a payout, you won’t have to pay for their services.

This is important because it eliminates any financial concerns. It means you are not going to find yourself in a position whereby you’ve paid for legal services, and you have got nothing monetary in return, which can be a big worry for a lot of people, and the last thing you need is more worry when you have already had an injury to contend with. You will be pleased to know that we only offer a No Win, No Fee service here at Accident Claims UK. No matter who works on your case, this payment structure is a given.

Why You Should Sue A Restaurant With Our Team

When it comes to making a personal injury claim, there is one key ingredient every successful case has, and this is a quality personal injury lawyer who fights the victim’s corner. No matter what type of incident you have been involved in, it is vital that you choose a lawyer with care if you want to have the best chance of getting the compensation you deserve. Keeping that in mind, read on to discover how we tick all of the boxes you are looking for here at Accident Claims UK.

No Win, No Fee – When using the services of accident lawyers, there is no denying that payment is one of the most important areas of consideration. Unfortunately, we don’t all have endless pits of money to throw at this service. Nevertheless, the good news is that there is a cost-efficient option available in the form of a No Win, No Fee service. You should always consider going down this route – we don’t just say this because it’s our service – as you will only need to pay legal fees if your case a success. Not only does this minimise the risk associated with making a claim, but also it ensures you benefit from a much better service too, as the solicitor will be incentivised to win your case.

Experience – You should look for a solicitor that has a considerable degree of experience in the industry. You certainly don’t want to use the services of someone that is effectively learning on the job. You should also make sure that they have experience in the type of claim you are making, i.e. if you have been involved in a food allergy accident you will want a lawyer that has experience in these accident claims. Here at Accident Claims UK, we will provide you with a solicitor from our team that has specialist experience in personal injury claims.

Credibility – Last but not least, it is a good idea to read reviews that have been left by previous clients. By doing this, you will be able to get a genuine assessment regarding the standard of quality you are likely to benefit from if you use the services of the solicitor in question. We are sure you will be delighted with the comments that have been left by our previous clients.

How To Contact Accident Claims UK

Are you ready to make your food allergy claim? Perhaps you still have a few questions about allergic reaction compensation claims against a restaurant? Irrespective of what your situation is, you can give us a call on 0800 073 8801. This is our advisory line, and it is open all of the time – every day of the week, 24 hours per day, so you can call at any time that is convenient for you. You can rest assured that all calls are 100 per cent confidential at all times. Moreover, there are plenty of other ways to get in touch with us too. This includes via email, live chat, and you can also enter your contact details, and we will give you a callback.

Where To Learn More About Allergies And Similar Claims

Making a claim for wrongful death 

Claiming compensation for GP negligence 

Information on child accident and injury claims 

Royal Society for the Protection of Health 

NHS Guide to food allergy 

Anaphylaxis- an NHS guide

Thank you for reading our guide on allergic reaction compensation claims against a restaurant.