Food Allergy Claims
Sickric.com are experts in acquiring compensation for allergic reactions to both food and other substances.
We understand the law.
Have you had any of these tell-tale symptoms?
When someone who has an allergy ingests an allergen to which they are allergic, the onset of symptoms usually happens within minutes or even seconds.
Initial reactions: the symptoms initially begin as a tingling sensation around the mouth and/or lips, with occasional swelling.
Developing symptoms: these include swelling of the lips, mouth, cheeks and tongue; followed by difficulty swallowing, dizziness, difficulty breathing, nausea, diarrhoea and vomiting. In some tragic cases the result can be death.
If the symptoms develop very severely, they can progress into anaphylaxis.
If you’ve had any of these developing symptoms, you might be able to make an allergy claim.
Anaphylaxis is associated with a severe allergic reaction. The onset of symptoms can be very quick, often deteriorating rapidly. This is due to the fact that the sufferer’s blood pressure drops as the body’s immune system kicks in.
The treatment for anaphylaxis is to administer adrenaline. Many allergy sufferers carry an EpiPen to self-administer adrenaline. The team at Sickric.com have spoken with many people who are recovering from anaphylaxis as a result of ingesting an allergen, and we’ve helped them to make a successful claim.
The most common allergens that cause anaphylaxis are:
If you’re allergic to any of the allergens listed above and the food was found to be incorrectly served, then you can make an allergy claim.
Food businesses are legally obliged to put allergen controls in place
Allergen control procedures are vital to controlling the delivery of foods that are free of the allergens that the customer needs to avoid. Without this, the results could be catastrophic to both the customer and the food business. These controls include:
– Proper training of all staff members.
– Control of cross-contact contamination.
– Cleaning regimes.
– Control of purchase ingredients.
– Checking ingredients on delivery.
– Regular allergen control audits.
Compensation for an allergic reaction to food
If you’ve had to seek medical treatment due to an allergic reaction to food, then you may be entitled to compensation. The Sickric.com team work with UK-based personal injury solicitors, to acquire not only compensation for the illness suffered, but also any out-of-pocket expenses, loss of earnings and rehabilitation costs. The compensation amounts vary and are subject to the individual scenario.
Serving food for allergy sufferer – how should it be done?
Someone with a food allergy should not be prevented from eating out. If a food outlet prepares food using the correct procedures, then an allergic reaction should not happen. But how should an establishment prepare food – and what does the law cover?
Prior to arrival
Prior to arriving, all restaurants are bound by law to have a suitable policy and training in place to deal with allergy sufferers. There are no excuses for a food establishment to be non-compliant and all food establishments including takeaways must have a policy.
All kitchen staff (not just the chefs) have to be trained and then monitored to ensure that there is strict adherence to the legislation. All foods should be listed in advance on chef recipe cards, and it should be ensured that recipes are never changed without a new card being produced and the whole system being changed; the website and front of house allergen book must also be changed. All kitchen staff must be brought up to speed on any changes and all front of house staff must be trained so that they can give appropriate advice at the point of ordering.
Ordering your food
It is the responsibility of the allergy sufferer to report their allergy to the staff member from whom they order their food. This staff member has the responsibility to report the allergy to the head chef, management or appointed person. The appointed person should then show the allergy sufferer what they can or cannot eat.
Where the sufferer has an extremely severe allergy, the restaurant can advise them not to eat anything from the menu. For example, refusing to serve would be the correct procedure when someone who has an allergy to crustacea enters a seafood restaurant. It may not be possible for such an establishment to guarantee safe food.
Serving & eating
A dish for an allergy sufferer should always be served separately, and preferably directly from the chef who has given special attention to not having any cross-contact occur and has taken great care with the ingredients.
When preparing food for a known allergen sufferer, it is best practice to cook the food separately. The chef should then check the chef’s card and the list of ingredients of each packet for sub-ingredients. They should re-wash in hot soapy water all pans, utensils, chopping boards and work surfaces, and also their hands, before starting to cook food.
If these procedures were not followed, then the food establishment may have been breaking the law.
Fines for legislation breaches
The Sickric.com team has successfully helped many people to make claims against restaurants. Here are a few real-life scenarios where establishments have been fined by the local authority for failing to meet the necessary legislation:
– A celebrity chef’s Italian restaurant chain was fined £8,000 after a woman who told staff three times that she was allergic to gluten, was served wholewheat pasta. The woman, 38, was enjoying a wedding anniversary meal with her husband at a branch of the restaurant in Portsmouth.
– A takeaway owner pleaded guilty at Chesterfield Magistrates Court to supplying unsafe food. The Court heard that the takeaway had failed to declare the presence of peanuts in a spare ribs meal to a peanut-allergic customer, even though the customer had asked not to be supplied with a meal containing peanuts. The customer suffered a severe allergic reaction requiring emergency medical treatment in hospital.
– A top Norwich indian restaurant must pay more than £6000 in fines and costs after a customer suffered a serious allergic reaction to milk contained in a takeaway meal and was rushed to hospital. The woman had told staff that she had an allergy to dairy products.
Want to start a claim? Call 01625 253020.